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Charis Chamber Voices Welcomes Holiday Season With Bedford Concert

Photo Credit: Contributed

BEDFORD, N.Y. – Charis Chamber Voices will welcome the holiday season when the Bedford Presbyterian Church hosts the group that has been called "the finest chamber choir in Westchester."

The concert will take Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at the church,  Village Green, Bedford.

The international program will include the U.S. debut of Tytus Abrahamson's " Magnificat," Herbert Howell's celebrated "Long, Long Ago," and favorites by Handel, Mendelssohn and Gruber.

Charis , an auditioned chorus, founded in 1994, is renowned for its diverse repertoire, unique blend of voices and captivating performances.  This is Charis' fifth 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" opens with English composer John Tavener's "God is With Us," which alternates Byzantine-style chants with the liturgical style of the Russian Orthodox Church.  The second part of the program features "En Kelohenu" by American composer Steven Sametz blending ancient Jewish text with the musical legacy of a soldier who fought for the Third Reich which Sametz describes  as an effort to illuminate a path to spiritual harmony through reconciliation  and forgiveness.

Also on the program are "Noel! Un Enfant de Ciel" by French composer Eustache De Carry, "Ave Maria d-Aosta" by Finish composer Jaakko Mantyjarvi, "Morning Star" by Estonian composer Arvo Part, "Hodie Christus Natus Est" by French composer and pianist, Francis Poulenc, and American spirituals.

By tradition, Charis's holiday concerts end with the audience joining in singing familiar Christmas carols.  The concert will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

Tickets may be purchased in advance through the Charis website, www.charisvocals.com, or by calling 914 931 6575.  Tickets are also available at the door.

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