The Encore Chorale Holiday Concert season of 2011 began with a rousing concert at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) Pascal Center for Performing Arts on Friday, December 9 at 7:30pm, presenting Encore Chorales from Myerberg, AACC and our newest chorale from Southern Maryland. Ninety singers wowed their enthusiastic audience with a confident and excellent choral sound. The singers looked sophisticated with the ladies in elegant black and the men in dark suits and white shirts with great festive holiday ties.
The evening began, as is Encore's holiday tradition, with It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Eddie Pola and George Wyle and it was evident that the audience was in for an evening of grand singing. The singers were smiling and confident, performing with a solid tone. The singers were joined by soprano soloist Carolene Winter to perform a spirited Sing We Now of Christmas,arranged by Kevin McChesney. Releases were precise and Ms. Winter’s high obligato over the singers was full and brilliant. All on a Cold Winter’s Night by Douglas E. Wagner, is based on the Greensleeves melody, and was a stunning arrangement of lush tones. The singers sang with warmth and a beautiful legato quality. The audience appreciated the arrangement of S’vivon(The Dreidl) by Darmon Meader. The singers showed off their musicality in the jazz harmonies this piece offers. The Chorale sang Brendan Graham’s famous Christmas Pipes with a warm passion and celtic lilt. It is a lovely and rich piece.
Carolene Winter graced the staged singing a stunning Oh Joyful Childrenby Lee Holdridge and Oh Holy Night by Adolph Adam. She delivered a gorgeous, legato tone and her high register floated effortlessly. She closed with the quintessential holiday favorite The Christmas Song by Mel Torme and Bob Wells.
The chorale was in high gear with the hilarious Christmas a la Fa La La by Jay Althaus. The audience loved it and the singers had a blast. But the piece of the evening was Variations of Jingle Bells by John Pierpont, arranged for the Turtle Creek Chorale. It started out with a Barbara Streisand rendition of Jingle Bells, moved into a waltz mode, wandered over to jazz, burst into a brilliant British version with a fantastic soprano line above with exciting coloratura and ended with brilliance and energy. The singers were in full command and loved every minute of their performance.
The singers ended with a grand performance of the Hallelujah Chorus, fit for King George the Second. The audience showed their appreciation with a long applause.
Conductor, Jeanne Kelly, warmed the audience up, and all enjoyed a sing along of favorite Christmas music. Children from the audience came on stage to ring jingle bells during Rudolph. Great smiles and great rhythm. There were some excellent sounds coming from the audience. …….perhaps some future Encore singers!
The AACC Encore Chorale sang a very well attended concert for the Ginger Cove Retirement Community in Annapolis on Monday, Dec. 12. They were still is high gear from their Dec. 9 concert and they sang with great joy and voices full of energy.