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Winter Stories

Winter StoriesSaturday, December 21 at 7 pm

Sunday, December 22 at 2 pm

Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center

16th and Franklin, Astoria

Tickets: $10

This year 2013 has presented us with opportunities to celebrate the births and perform the music of three major composers Verdi, Wagner and Britten. The Astoria Music Festival certainly covered the first two composers this past summer. The North Coast Chorale has chosen to focus on a popular and frequently performed piece by the contemporary English composer, Benjamin Britten (1913-1976).

The Ceremony of Carols was written in 1942 along with a sister piece, Hymn to Saint Cecilia (the saint associated with music). After 3 years in the U.S., Britten boarded a Swedish cargo ship, the MS Axel Johnson. When it stopped in Nova Scotia, he found a book of poetry entitled The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems, on which he based some of the pieces in his Ceremony of Carols.

For our Winter Stories concert, we will include some familiar English carols to go along with the Ceremony of Carols during the first half of our program. The second half will feature holiday music of the 40s, the war years. This is tied in with circumstances surrounding the composition of the Ceremony of Carols. Britten wrote some of these carols while making his trip across the Atlantic from America, back to his home in England. At the time, the waters of the Atlantic were full of U Boats.

A good number of holiday songs were written during the war years. Their purpose was to both cheer up the listeners and singers and to reminisce about how much they missed and appreciated the holidays they celebrated during peace time with family and friends.

Our concert will include other music composed during this period as a tribute to those men and women who bravely sacrificed home and hearth to be a part of our armed forces. We thank the members of the String of Pearls jazz ensemble and harpist Cheri Walker for joining us.

New Season Starts Sept. 10

brittenSinging with others creates Harmony, and recent research reveals that when people sing in a choir their heart beats are synchronized so that the pulse of the choir members tends to increase and decrease in unison following the flow of the music. All in all, singing makes you feel good and it's good for you!

The North Coast Chorale, providing choral music to the north coast community for over twenty years, is looking for singers of all voice ranges and all ages. We perform music from all genres and you may also receive credit through Clatsop Community College. An exciting musical season is being planned.

Come to our first rehearsal/workshop on September 10th at 6:45 pm, at the PAC Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center, 16th and Franklin, Astoria. For more information, contact the director, Denise Reed, at 503-325-3602 or our president Cheryl Capellen at 503-325-7548.