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Acclaimed Children’s Choir, D.C. Brass Join for Christmas Concert


The angelic sounds of 130 children’s voices, classical brass and pipe organ will herald in the holidays at the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) concerts Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 4 at 3 p.m., at Eastern Mennonite University’s Lehman Auditorium.

In celebration of the SVCC’s twentieth anniversary, the highly acclaimed Washington Symphonic Brass (WSB) Quintet from Washington, D.C., will again join the SVCC and John Fast, professor of music at EMU and organist for the annual Christmas Concerts and sing-along.

The WSB Quintet, under the direction of Phil Snedecor, was the guest ensemble at three other SVCC Christmas concerts and was featured on two compact discs, “The Angel Choir and Trumpeter” and “Christmas Joy.”

“When we come to Harrisonburg, we bring players that have combined experiences of over 100 years as professional musicians,” said trumpeter and WSB founder Phil Snedecor. “You would think that we would inspire them. However, it’s the SVCC who inspires us, as we experience their approach–to both their music and performance–with the wonder and excitement that drove us all into this profession many years ago. We are looking forward to this year’s ‘shot in the arm’ of youthful energy that is the SVCC. Our hats are off to Julia White for building a first-rate program.”

Sophie Wellington, and the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir will perform with the Washington Symphonic Brass, Dec. 3 -4, at EMU. Wellington is the daughter of Lynne Mackey and Bill Wellington

About the concert

Children’s choir song favorites featuring the brass quintet will include “The Angel Choir and Trumpeter,” “Ding Dong, Merrily on High!” and Celah Pence’s arrangement of “Christmas Comin.'”  Other Christmas selections will include Vivaldi’s “Laudamus Te” featuring Maria Lorcas on violin, the well-loved “Carol of the Bells” and Carlisle Floyd’s contemporary arrangement of “Long, Long Ago.”

The Preparatory and Treble Choir will sing “Deck the Halls” with the brass, as well as “The Heavens Declare” and “Winter Troika Ride.”  Additional performing musicians include assistant director Joy Anderson, principal accompanist Maurita Eberly, and John Fast, preparatory choir accompanist and organist.

Audience sing-alongs and hymns will be part of the annual Christmas event and young children will be invited to the front of the stage to ring bells on “Jingle Bells.”  Seasonal carols will be sung throughout the program.

Twentieth anniversary, Staunton concert

This concert will be one of many noted performances in the 20th anniversary year, including performing by invitation for the American Choral Directors Southern Division conference in Winston-Salem, N.C., in March and at Carnegie Hall in New York City in May.

A Staunton Christmas concert will be given Monday, December 12, 2001, at 7 p.m. at the historic Trinity Episcopal Church. The Concert Choir and select small groups will be presenting holiday music and sing-along. Tickets will be sold at the door. For more information contact the SVCC office.

The SVCC, part of the music department at Eastern Mennonite University, has recently released its fifteenth CD entitled “Twenty Years of Song.” It is comprised of Christmas and general choral selections from the past two years and features soloists, instrumentalists, and all three performing choirs. CDs are in Harrisonburg area stores and can be ordered over the SVCC website.

More information

Tickets are now on sale for the SVCC/Washington Symphonic Brass Christmas concert. Call the university’s box office at 540-432-4582 or purchase tickets online at emu.edu/box-office. Pre-concert date tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for students (12-22) and seniors; $7 for children (12 and under). Tickets for special reserved sections are $20. At the door: $2 more per ticket. All seating is reserved.

For more information about the SVCC:  www.emu.edu/svcc or 540-432-4650.

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