Christmas 2017: Bask in the holiday spirit and sing along with the choir groups
From traditional favourites, jolly modern Christmas songs, to a flash mob, choir groups in Delhi and Gurgaon are heralding the festive spirit in their own style. So, wear your Santa caps, get that reindeer sweater out, and head to these performances with friends and family, ahead of Christmas.
An American Christmas
The Capital will witness an American Christmas this year, as the choir group The Capital City Minstrels will enthral one and all with carols from American composers, and traditional favourites such as Silent Night and Joy to the World, on December 6 at the Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, 1A Janpath, and on December 8, at the Cathedral Church of the Redemption, North Avenue.
“The idea stemmed from America being a combination of cultures. America has adopted these carols into our traditional Christmas festivities,” says conductor Lindsay Ross Boyd, about the unique Christmas tradition in the continent.
“We started practising carols back in August, meeting every week, working on different songs,” adds Boyd, who recently performed at the India Habitat Centre on December 3. The group’s performance had something for everyone as the first half of the concert featured pieces by American composers, or classics rearranged by American composers, and songs such as O Magnum Mysterium and A Christmas Carol — a traditional yet contemporary composition, and the African-American spiritual, My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord. The second half had traditional carols for the audience to sing along.
Birth of Jesus and Nation Building
From traditional carols, nativity songs, and spiritual lyrics, to excerpts from the compositions of baroque composer George Friderich Handel, the Delhi Christian Chorus will perform it all on December 17 at the Cathedral Church of the Redemption, North Avenue. Royall McLaren, conductor and director of the group, says, “We begin preparations in the first week of August, and practise every Monday. The title of the concert is A Child Is Born, from a song by Handel. We weave the story of the birth of Jesus and his growing up. This is the 52nd year of the choir group singing. We touch hearts through our music, by talking about nation building and peace. The performances include classical pieces from composers George Friderick Handel, Victor C. Johnson and Mozart, and songs like Angel Band by concert artist Pepper Choplin and An Invitation for Advent by composer Ruth Elaine Schram.”
The Lorraine Music Academy is heralding the Christmas season by organising flash mobs accompanied by Christmas carols, at Galleria, Gurgaon, on December 23. “We will spread the message of love and joy by singing carols like Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Joy to the World, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, and Deck the Halls in the flash mob. Children and adults will enter from different directions at the venue to participate in the flash mob. The whole spirit of Christmas is that of coming together, sharing, caring, giving, loving and forgiving. We believe music is the best way to express this spirit, and to rekindle this spirit afresh among the participants, performers or audience.” The 50 best performers will also prepare to play or sing a Christmas Carol, either as a solo or a group performance, that is, in choir or band format,” says Lorraine Fiona Aloysius, from the academy.”
An Opera for Christmas
The Lyric Ensemble of Delhi is presenting a 58-minute opera/musical theatre at the Shri Ram Centre on December 13. Situ Singh Buehler, voice coach and founder of the group, says, “The musical is titled Amahl and the Night Visitors. People associate Christmas with only carols, so we thought of staging a musical, instead of singing carols, which everyone does. The preparations began six weeks ago.”
“The opera follows the story of Amahl, a poor, disabled shepherd boy who lives with his mother, and also narrates a miracle that was part of one of the most momentous times in history, and based on American-Italian composer Gian Carlo Menotti’s retelling of the Christmas tradition, where gifts were brought to children not by Santa, but by three kings,” adds Buehler.
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