Oratorio Chorale celebrates Noel for the third year

Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2017 in Culture

Oratorio Chorale celebrates Noel for the third year

The Oratorio Chorale sings "Silent Night" by candlelight. GINA HAMILTON

by Gina Hamilton

The Oratorio Chorale, under the baton of Emily Isaacson, brought a new Christmas gift to the Midcoast with “Sing We Noel,” performed on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, at St. Paul’s in Brunswick.

In addition to sing-along holiday favorites, the Chorale presented selections from “Messiah”, which they sang in November, and works from the Faure Requiem and works of Robert Kyr, both of which will be part of the late winter performance in February. In addition, the women’s small  choir, The Sweetest in the Gale, performed a lovely folk song, “Saro”, about lovers parted because of family interference. Their spring performance will be held in April.

A few new holiday pieces also made an appearance this year. A haunting version of “I wonder as I wander”, an Appalachian folk carol, and other carols from other parts of the world – a Hodie from the Netherlands; Verleih uns Frieden, by Mendelssohn; and the arrangement of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” by Arthur Sullivan – he of the “Very Model of a Modern Major General” fame – changed up the holiday offerings enough to keep them fresh, but familiar enough to keep the audience singing and connected.

Children – even small children – are welcomed and made a part of the performance, by helping to “deck the halls”.

As always, Isaacson’s choreography – there is truly no other word for it – delighted the eye as well as the ear.

If you have never heard “Sing We Noel”, make sure you mark your 2018 calendar now. Sing We Noel is a terrific annual addition to anyone’s holiday repetoire.

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