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The Community Chorale of the Catskills, under the direction of Richard Tucker, will present two performances of its annual Holiday Concert this weekend. On Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. the Chorale will be performing at the Margaretville United Methodist Church. The concert will be repeated Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2:30 p.m. at the Jay Gould Memorial Reformed Church in Roxbury.
This year’s program is a mix of seasonal sounds including music for winter, for Hanukkah, and the Christmas season. Some of the pieces are new arrangements of classic holiday tunes and others are new compositions appropriate to the season.
The Chorale is pleased to offer music by two prolific contemporary American composers. Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000), a composer of Armenian heritage, will be represented by two works. The first Unto Thee, O God is a very short motet written for a cappella chorus.
The second, Gloria is the last movement of his major work Magnificat, scored for chorus, soloists and orchestra. Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006) spent his career around the Boston area and was a very fine organist as well as a composer who wrote in many styles but with an emphasis on sacred choral music.
The Chorale will be performing his short composition Evergreen, written for unison chorus and ostinato and, perhaps, his most famous composition Christmas Cantata (Sinfonia Sacra).
Both the Hovhaness Gloria and the Pinkham Christmas Cantata will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble consisting of a brass quartet and keyboard.
The brass quartet includes William Gilchrest and Gary LiCalzi on trumpet and Jeff Barker and Connie McAfee on French horn. Dan Chien plays electronic keyboard supplying synthesized strings for the Hovhaness work and organ for the Pinkham Cantata. Becky Maeder Chien also adds electronic chimes and tam-tam for Hovhaness’ Gloria.
A free-will donation will be accepted at each concert and the public is cordially invited to come and spend an afternoon or evening of holiday music with the Chorale. These concerts are made possible in part by public funds from the NYS Council on the Arts Decentralization Program administered in Delaware County by the Roxbury Arts Group. The concerts are also being sponsored in part by the A.S.H.R.A.M. Center, Margaretville.