Coshocton Community Choir presents annual Christmas concert

| November 30, 2012

COSHOCTON — Your Light Has Come is the theme of the Coshocton Community Choir’s Festival Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Over 200 musicians from throughout central Ohio will weave together the Christmas story at Coshocton High School’s McKinley Auditorium. Musical selections during the 90-minute concert span the centuries as the choirs, under the direction of Charles R. Snyder, perform a mix of sacred and secular choral music.

“Each year we try to see Christmas through a different lens,” said Snyder. “That not only helps keep the concert fresh, but a theme also suggests new music as well as music we haven’t programmed in several years.  Light and darkness is a reoccurring theme in scripture, and the contrast between the November darkness and the lights of Christmas is an obvious illustration of that reality. Our artist friend Tom Kulewicz has beautifully captured that in the logo he’s designed for this year’s Christmas concerts.”

Dr. Allan H. Zagray, retired pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, has again chosen and written the script for the concert story. “His theological insights are always helpful, and his years singing with the Community Choir has given him a unique perspective as he helps wed text to the music we’re preparing,” said Snyder.

Zagray shares in this year’s text, ‘The Christmas lights may go out, but the Light of Christ can still shine – in us and in others like us who allow the love of God to touch us in the depths of our beings, so that we reach out to those who need a healing touch and helpful assistance along their way through life. We must brighten the corner where we are.’

The Your Light Has Come Christmas concert music is eclectic this year offering something for everyone.  Choral enthusiasts will appreciate the Paladilhe ‘Benedictus’, Sweelinck’s ‘Born Today,’ and the Gretchaninov ‘Nunc Dimittis.’

“The contemporary ‘Mary, Did You Know?’ will be heard in a fresh setting by Fred Bock,” said Snyder, “and I know the audience will enjoy two Christmas spirituals: Jester Hairston’s arrangement of ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ and the Children’s Choir’s new arrangement of ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’ by Mark Patterson.”

The Community Choir and the Youth Chorale will sing several carols in the round – out in the audience. While the audience might not be able to see everything that happens in that section, they will certainly hear the music coming from all directions. Carols in the round will include the madrigal-like ‘Come to the Manger’; a Korean lullaby; and a carol from the West Indies, ‘The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy’.

“Grace United Methodist Church’s Asbury Handbell Choir, conducted by Leslie Dawson, will be our special guests and will ring Kevin McChesney’s exciting arrangement of the French Carol, ‘Sing We Now of Christmas’,” Snyder said. “And the Roscoe Brass Quintet will play a jazz setting of the English carol, ‘God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen’.”

Inspired by the light theme, the Community Choir will end that section of the concert with Harry Simeone’s arrangement of the Christmas favorite, ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ The audience will be invited to join the choirs in singing several carols, including ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘Angels, From the Realms of Glory.’

The concert features the 100-voice adult choir (now in its 42nd season), the Coshocton Children’s Choir (now in its 26th season), the Coshocton Youth Chorale (in its 11th season), and the Roscoe Brass Ensemble. The Coshocton Community Choir has performed throughout the state and returned recently to perform at Lakeside, Ohio. “Those who come to one of our concerts for the first time, especially those who come from a metropolitan area, often voice their surprise when they see and hear 200 musicians from our area unite to offer their gifts of music,” said Snyder. “Many local encouragers tell us that their Christmas celebration begins with this concert.  We invite you to share the joy of the season with us on Dec. 2.”

There are two concert times on Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Your Light Has Come Festival Concert are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door or online at . Tickets are also available at these presale tickets outlets: Liberty House in Roscoe Village; Good News Book Store, Buehler Food Market, and Marilyn’s Natural Foods in Coshocton; Home Loan Savings Bank in West Lafayette and Baker’s Foods in Newcomerstown.

The concert is at Coshocton High School’s McKinley Auditorium located at 1205 Cambridge Road in Coshocton. Due to the construction at Coshocton High School, the best route to enter for parking is Denman Avenue to South Fourteenth Street to Sleepy Hollow Drive to access the CHS parking lots. Directional signs will be posted. For more information, contact the Coshocton Community Choir at (740) 623-0554, or find them on Facebook.

Tags: ,

Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

Article contributed to The Beacon.

Comments are closed.