Eastern Mennonite University singers will make several appearances on Sunday, Dec. 7, to mark the approaching Advent season. The Chamber Singers perform in three worship services at Harrisonburg churches, while the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir hosts its annual holiday concert on campus.
The Chamber Singers, led by Kenneth J. Nafziger, will perform in Advent services at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, 281 E. Market St., at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Nafziger will lead the singers in a performance of one of the Bach Advent cantatas, joined by the EMU string ensemble.
The choir will also perform during the 5 p.m. Evensong service at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 660 S. Main St. The Chamber Singers have sung in this series every year except one since the church began offering this service to the community, Nafziger said.
The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir performs “A Celtic Christmas,” its 23rd annual Christmas concert and the first with new director Janet Hostetter, in Lehman Auditorium at 4 p.m.
Several selections are specifically tailored for the Celtic theme, while Celtic dances –performed by choir members Matthew Long, Rebekah Long, Eve Manning, and Sydney Shaver, under the tutelage of JoAnn Carle –will open and close the concert.
A sampling of the afternoon’s selections by the Treble Choir includes “Taladh Chriosda” (The Christ Child’s Lullaby); “Celtic Gloria”; the Baroque piece “Alleluia! Sing! Rejoice!” based on a composition by George Frideric Handel; a Kentucky carol, “Hush, My Babe,” and two traditional French carols.
The Concert Choir will perform Henry Purcell’s “Sound the Trumpet,” John Rutter’s “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” with soloist Cierra Sweet, “Le Sommeil de l’Enfant Jesus” (The Sleep of the Infant Jesus) performed by the advanced musicianship class, “Christmas is Coming” a lighthearted rendition of a traditional round, “Eatnemen Vuelie” (Fairest Lord Jesus) with soloist Ben Elliott, and “Mary Had a Baby/Joyful, Joyful” with soloist Sophie Wellington.
Guest instrumentalists will include Dr. Pedro Aponte on the flute, Tara Davis on violin and Brent Holl on percussion.
The audience will be invited to join in singing traditional carols, including “Silent Night.”