The Northwest Nazarene University Department of Music will present “A Choral Christmas” on Sat. evening, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m. The concert will feature the Crusader Choir directed by Dr. Barry Swanson and Bella Voce, the university’s women’s choir, directed by Dr. Judy Marlett.
The 40-voice Bella Voce will sing a variety of Christmas music with different styles, traditions and national origins, ranging from the popular “Winter Wonderland” to “Veni Emmanuel” by Mengel, based on a Latin Gregorian chant. Other titles will include “The Cuckoo Carol,” “By Candlelight,” “Breath of Heaven,” and “Not That Far from Bethlehem.”
Swanson stated that the Crusader Choir will sing music of Christmas by John Rutter, a contemporary English composer whose music reflects the English cathedral musical tradition that is so strongly associated with the music of Christmas. “Rutter somehow seems to capture the essence or spirit of Christmas in his seasonal music,” he said.
The 48-voice ensemble will sing Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol” and close the concert with the beautiful “Gaelic Blessing.” The heart of the concert is the presentation of Rutter’s “Magnificat,” a 30-minute setting of the song of Mary from the first chapter of Luke, in which she responds to the angel’s revelation that she will bear the Christ child. Set in Latin (with English supertitles) the work’s seven sections are based on a text sung by Christians since the earliest days of Christianity. The Crusader Choir will be accompanied by an orchestra of Boise Philharmonic players and NNU students and an organ.
A special presentation of the evening will be the performance of two compositions by NNU senior music major Scott King. A native of Nampa and graduate of Greenleaf Friends Academy, King studied piano, voice and composition at NNU. Becky Nelson, piano, and string players from the orchestra will perform “Reflections on Silent Night,” written for last year’s NNU string trio. Alison Cavanaugh and King will perform “Ave Maria,” written for Cavanaugh’s junior voice recital earlier this fall.
The Brandt Centeris located at 707 Fern St. in Nampa, and tickets are $5 at the door. The public is invited to attend.