Christmas Choir lifts holiday spirits

There’s nothing like Christmas music to get into the spirit of the holidays, and on Sunday, December 2 and Tuesday December 4,  the voices and instruments of UW-Superior performed at Cathedral of Christ the King.  As the church filled up with eager visitors, Dr. Erin Aldridge presented a prelude of classical Christmas tunes on her violin, high above in the balcony. Most of the pews were filled.

As the lights in the church’s massive chamber dimmed, a strong trumpet began the first piece of the night, “Personent Hodie.”  The Acappella Choir slowly entered the chamber in rows, each footstep in rhythm as they sang in elegant, majestic Latin.  Eventually, every member reached the altar where they ended the song in unison.

“And Then Shall Your Light (Elijah)” was a group effort, sung in clear, rich voices.  “O Magnum Mysterium” was voices only, sung as gently as a ray of sunlight, peaceful and soft, almost a whisper.

After an Interlude on the Organ of “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” the Chamber Choir sang “Ubi caritas (Quatre Motets) around a well of holy water.  “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” was accompanied by piano with wishes all around, most of them being for pudding.

Another interlude presented “Greensleeves” on violin.  The Woman’s Ensemble presented “Nativity Carol,” a graceful hymn, along with a brilliant solo that moved the spirit.

“Sleigh Ride” was played on another violin interlude, then came Men’s Ensemble with “12 Days of Christmas” that skipped a few of the days and added “Santa’s Coming to Town,” “Deck the Halls,” “Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and more!  Things really got crazy when Dr. Aldridge joined in with her violin and sunglasses.

With one last organ interlude, “Joy to the World”, the Acappella Choir and Orchestra joined at the altar for two final pieces.  “The First Noel”, started with a gentle harmony of voices which moved on to a spirited piece.  And lastly, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” ended the concert with combined tones that were truly glorious.

Michael Shaw -- The Stinger
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