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2019 Christmas Concert – Georgia Children’s Chorus

December 17, 2019
Performing Arts Center

Performed by the Concert and Intermezzo Choirs from the Georgia Children’s Chorus under the direction of Carol Reeves and Erin Towe, Assistant Director. Candace Stoffel, Accompanist; Trevor Barroero, Djembe

As we celebrate the sharing of stories this year we want to thank you for being a part of the story of the Georgia Children’s Chorus. We would not be able to share this wonderful music without the support of our families, Board of Directors, music interns and dedicated audience members.
Believe in our song! Thank you. 

 

Pre-Concert Music with Trevor Barreoro, Percussion

Concert and Intermezzo Choirs

Baraka Na Wewe-Victor C. Johnson

 
Baraka na wewe      Blessing to You 
Napenda furaha      We wish you joy 
Napenda matumaini      We wish you hope 
Napenda amani      We wish you peace 
Napenda upendo      We wish you love 

Featuring Trevor Barreoro, Djembe

He Came Down

 
Featuring Trevor Barroero, Djembe

Ask the Moon (from Three Settings of the Moon)-Poem

By Thomas E. Ahlburn, Arr. Ron Nelson  

Featuring Select Ensemble: Vivian Hilyard, Sarah Fryman, Sarah Evens, Livy Baxley, Kerry Barrett, Marin Wallace; Marimba—Trevor Barreoro; Flute – Shana Stone; Bass—Diolo Lima; Triangle—Matthew Elsey; Sleighbells—Sophie Haskell

Little is known about Rev. Dr. Thomas Ahlburn, whose poem was used as inspiration for this piece. He was a Unitarian pastor in Canada and New England, served in community affairs and was a political activist. There is at least one known published collection of his poetry, Days of Wonder and Wild Honey.
 
Dr. Ron Nelson is an accomplished American composer and music academic, spending a majority of his career working at Brown University. He wrote Three Settings of the Moon for women’s chorus, piano, flute, marimba and glockenspiel in 1983.

The Birds

By Benjamin Britten    

Benjamin Britten was born in Lowestoft, England, on November 22, 1913. He began composing his first works at the age of five, and produced prolifically throughout his childhood. One of his first works was composing music for General Post Office documentary films in 1935. Britten wrote The Birds for his mother, Edith, and it was sung both at her funeral and at the wedding of his sister, Beth. Originally written for strings and soprano, it was revised for voice and piano in 1934. This song uses Britten’s unique style of “the right ending in the wrong key”, a trick that which can be heard in several of his pieces.

Light the Legend (A Song for Chanukah)

By Michael Isaacson

A rhythmically exciting story of the Chanukah lights set to song! Chanukah is an eight day Jewish holiday celebrating the rededication of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem after the defeat of the Seleucids by Judah Maccabee during the Maccabean Revolt. The Maccabeans sought to light the Temple’s menorah during the revolt and found only a single cruse of olive oil. They were able to light the menorah for eight days with this very small supply. Jewish people around world honor this miracle through the celebration of Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights.

Concert, Intermezzo and Prelude Choirs

Go Tell It on the Mountain (from the Appalachian Carols)

Featuring the High School Ensemble

The Prelude Choir

Dormi, Dormi (Sweetly Slumber)

Italian, arr. Mary Goetze

In this popular Italian Christmas Carol, we find a mother encouraging her son to sleep. The child is weeping and the mother tries to console him.  The direct translation of Re divin is “King divine” which signifies to the listener that this is not just any mother, but Mary, mother of Jesus. 

               Italian                                                           English Interpretation

Dormi, Dormi, bel bambin                                      Sleep, O sleep, my lovely child
Re divin, Re divin,                                                     King divine, King divine.
Fala nanna fantolino.                                              Close your eyes and sweetly slumber.
Perche piangi, o mio tresor.                                   O my treasure, do not weep.
Dolce amor, Dolce amor.                                        Sweet love, sweet love.
Fala nanna, o caro figlio.                                       Close your eyes my Son, my dear one.
Fanto bel, Fanto bel.                                                 Sleep well, sleep well.

The Piglet’s Christmas-American Folk Song

arr. Mary Goetze

This charming, simple Appalachian folk song about a warm-hearted farmer has been freely adapted to become a secular Christmas song.  The mixolydian accompaniment ventures beyond diatonicism to accompany the stepwise hexatonic melody.  Embedded in the piano part are quotations of a familiar carol which has been altered in mode and in meter.

The Intermezzo and Prelude Choirs

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Arr. Mark Brymer

A surprise hit from the Disney animated film “Frozen”, this tender song depicts the relationship between the two sisters, Anna and Elsa.

The Intermezzo Choir

Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening

Words by Robert Frost, Music by Vera Kistler

Featuring Flute—Shana Stone; Sleighbells—Sophie Haskell

The words to this piece are taken from the beloved poem by Robert Frost. It has countless interpretations including the quiet celebration of solitude, appreciation of nature and the significance of inner peace and reflection.  To the composer of this piece, the poem is symbolic of one’s constant struggle for perfection and mastery of craft.  This is brought out in the climax that it is good and right to pause and indulge in whatever brings us joy and satisfaction, but that we also must know when to let go of all celebrations and return to or chores and responsibilities.

The Grey Donkey

By Anthony Royse

The donkey was the gentle beast that carried Mary to Bethlehem. This sensitive original comments on the events of the Holy birth with care and awe. It combines lyrical unison vocal lines and a descriptive, arpeggiated piano accompaniment to fashion a work of sweetness and maturity.

The High School Ensemble

What Child is This? (Greensleeves)

Arr. Melissa Malvar-Keylock and Jill Friedersdorf

This carol was written by William Chatterton Dix, an English insurance company manager and poet. During his time working as an insurance manager, Dix became very ill and underwent a spiritual crisis, prompting him to begin to write Christian poetry. What Child is This was derived from a longer poem, The Manger Song, and was originally set to the traditional English tune Greensleeves. Although first published in Great Britain in 1865, it later became popular in the United States, where the hymn remains a Christmastime favorite.

Mary Sat A-Rockin’

By Grep Gilpin

The Concert Choir

Of the Father’s Love

Text by Aurelius Prudentius, Music by Barry Talley

This hymn is based on the Latin poem Corde natus by the Roman Christian poet Aurelius Prudentius in the mid-300s. Prudentius was a provincial governor before being summoned by Emperor Theodosius I to work in his court. He retired from the public life to write poems, hymns, and controversial works in defense of Christianity. This poem is based on a passage from the Book of John in the New Testament.

This Little Babe (from A Ceremony of Carols)

By Benjamin Britten

In 1939, very early in World War II, Benjamin Britten left his homeland for America.  While he enjoyed success there, he made the daring decision to return to England during the wartime months of March and April 1942.  Who would believe that this perilous five-week North Atlantic crossing would produce one of the most innocent and optimistic depictions of the Holy Birth? The Ceremony of Carols was a ground-breaking piece using only three voice parts and a harp.  Though this pairing of voice and harp now seems inevitable, Britten’s choice of accompaniment may have simply been the result of his having brought on the voyage books on harp composition, as he had been recently commissioned to write a concerto for harp.

“This Little Babe,” is a poem by Robert Southwell, a Jesuit who was executed for treason by Queen Elizabeth I. The text describes the birth of the baby Jesus, and the preparations God made for battle with Satan’s forces.  Images of the infant are juxtaposed with weapons and battles.  In each verse, Britten adds another voice to the canon, emulating the cacophony of battle finally finishing the movement in a flourish of triumph.

The Little Drummer Boy (Carol of the Drum)

By Robert Sterling

Featuring Flute—Shana Stone; Drums—Trevor Barreoro; Bass—Diogo Lima; Cello—Thomas Jones

A favorite at Christmas, The Little Drummer Boy tells the ancient story of a young boy too poor to afford a gift for the infant Jesus, who brings instead a song offered on his drum.

Go Where I Send Thee-Gospel Spiritual

Arranged by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory

Arrangers Caldwell and Ivory say “Go Where I Send Thee is a gospel arrangement of a spiritual from the African-American folk tradition which we first became familiar with through the work of Cynthia Wilson Felder in Texas.  From the many variants of the text we have developed an extended version which allowed us to maximize the use of Gospel-style modulation and to give our singers significant one-line reminders of some of the biblical stories on which the African-American musical tradition is based.”  Some of the scriptural references are quite evident; others are somewhat cloaked:

Eleven refers to the opinion that Judas Iscariot might not fare so well on judgment day.

  • Nine is the number which traditionally represents the nine choirs of angels.Eight recalls the number of people instructed to board Noah’s ark:  the shipbuilder, his wife, his three sons, and their wives.
  • Five refers to the loaves of bread that ultimately fed five thousand people.
  • The four Gospel writers are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  • And the three Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego) were thrown into a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar.
The Concert, Intermezzo and Prelude Choir

Carol Medley

Peace on Earth and Lots of Little Crickets

Music by Paul Carey, Poem by Oliver Twigge

Featuring Marimba—Trevor Barreoro; Percussion—Candy Stoffel, Erin Towe, Sophie Haskill, Mattlew Elsey, Jennifer Golden

Composer Paul Carey has created a truly fun and imaginative little piece with this rhythmic, “relaxed groove” and all these little crickets!  The text is fun and creative and is appealing to both audiences and singers alike.  Peace On Earth…and Lots of Little Crickets reminds us that it is truly hard to be angry when one is laughing,  Perhaps it is through joy, laughter and the “little things in life” that we all find peace.

Peace, Peace

Flute – Shana Stone
Cello – Thomas Jones

Joy

By Jim Papoulis

Featuring:
Djembe – Trevor Barreoro

Jim Papoulis is a New York City based composer, known for exploring new modes of musical communication by honoring and connecting classical and traditional forms with non-Western sounds. His distinct and ever-evolving approach united classical with contemporary sounds, world rhythms, R&B, and voices.

 

ENCORE!

Believe! Give Voice to your Dreams! 

For all those who support the chorus through your attendance at concerts, sharing your musical talents, giving your time, sponsoring the chorus, offering gifts and donations, we are so very appreciative.  The Georgia Children’s Chorus depends on you! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give Voice to our Dreams and for believing in our song for the past 21 years and for sharing this evening with us.

 

We would love to take this moment to pass along some compliments from members of the audience:

 

Thank you so much for all you have done for us this year! You have brought so much creativity and joy to our lives here at GCC!

 

A sound of heaven on earth with a director who teaches with deep joy and love! Ms. Carol is a gift to children and all mankind! So thankful my son can take part in GCC!
— GCC parent
 
The concert was so wonderful – thank you all so much for the work that you do. Y’all are AMAZING! Year after year, I can’t believe how blessed we are to have GCC right here in Athens.
— GCC parent
 

Thank you for an excellent concert tonight!  It is always a treat to hear the chorus.  The added blessings are always the new songs you introduce to me.   what a joy tonight was for me and three people I introduced to GCC tonight! – — Member of the community

 

The concert was beautiful!  Loved every minute and appreciate all of your hard work and dedication.  It shows!   Glad to be a small part of it! Happy Holidays!  

— From a Board Member

 
I was simply not prepared for the kindness and joy everyone radiated and the wonderful experience it was to make music with you all! It was truly a privilege. The kids impressed me to no end, not just with their great talent, but with their attitudes and outlook. It is obvious that they love you and need your guidance, and I know you love them too! I spent only three short times making music with you all, and I already know I will miss everyone until I get the chance to play with you again sometime. Thank you so much for all you do for these wonderful kids! You and they truly make the world a better place.
– Guest Instrumentalist
 

If you know someone who is interested in being a part of the Georgia Children’s Chorus, we hope that you will have them contact us.  You will find all of our contact information here. If you are interested in being a financial partner of the Chorus please contact Mrs. Reeves, a member of the Board of directors, or the GCC office.  

 

Feel free to share a link to this page with other friends and family members who are unavailable to attend this marvelous concert! 

 

We are so thankful for each one of these talented singers, and for you, our audience for sharing this time with us.