WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Charis Chamber Voices will ring in the holiday season with an international program that includes a centennial tribute to British composer Benjamin Britten as well as seasonal sing-along favorites.
Two concerts are scheduled in area churches: on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco, 605 Millwood Road (Rte. 133)
Mount Kisco, and on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m. at Bedford Presbyterian Church, Village Green, Bedford.
Charis is an auditioned chorus of 30 men and women from Westchester County and Fairfield County. Founded in 1994, it is renowned for its diverse repertoire, unique blend of voices and captivating performances.
This is Charis' fourth season under the direction of Art Sjogren, an accomplished choral director who is frequently in demand as a guest conductor at American and international choral festivals.
This year’s program for the annual “Candlelight Christmas Concert” features a Britten (1913-1976) cantata for choir, harp and organ which he composed in 1938 for the BBC radio as the tensions that would explode into World War II menaced Europe. Titled “The World of the Spirit,” the work is a meditation in words and music on the subject of angels. Interludes of poetry and scripture are read between the choral sections. The work has been performed only once before in North America.
Also on the program are motets in Spanish by Renaisssance composer Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599), the Jesu Carols by contemporary Minnesota composer Stephen Paulus (1949-), Christus ist geboren by Hungarian Franz Liszt (1811-1886) and O Magnum mysterium by New York-based contemporary composer Nancy Wertsch.
By tradition, Charis’s holiday concert ends with the audience joining in singing familiar Christmas carols. The concerts will be followed by wine and cheese receptions.
Tickets are $25 ($20 for seniors and students). They may be purchased in advance through the Charis website, www.charisvocals.com, or by calling 914-931-6575. They will also be available at the door.