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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