Telluride Choral Society: WinterSing #23, 12/9 & 12/11

Telluride Choral Society: WinterSing #23, 12/9 & 12/11

The Telluride Choral Society’s WinterSing, #23, takes place Friday, December 9, 7 p.m. at Christ Church on Columbia Avenue; the performance on Sunday, December 11, is at  3 p.m., also at Christ Church. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, available at the door. For more information, call (970)729-0082.


Whatever its origins – pagan, connected with the winter solstice or Christian, based on the birth stories about Christ – in America, Christmas belongs to everyone: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists. Everyone.

And that means YOU.

And that’s true whether the very thought makes you shiver in anticipation –  or with angst and cold.

Traditions associated with the holiday are secular and universal: mistletoe kisses (from Druid lore); chipmunks and Charlie Brown; secret Santas; gift-giving and store window displays; elves and grinches. It is Rudolph and tricked-out giant conifers, baked ham and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and one too many tipples of eggnog. The holiday is classic movies such as “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”

It is Telluride’s Main Street all tarted up with balls and wreaths and lights.

Lots of lights.

Including the lights that shine in artistic director Rhonda Muckerman’s program for the Telluride Choral Society’s 23rd annual WinterSing, “Let There Be Light!”

Christmas lights and Christmas music, the perfect match for the holiday whose evolution as a cultural phenomenon is reflected in the sounds of the season.

“What do the moon, stars, snowflakes, fire and ice all have in common?,” Rhonda asks. “They are all manifestations of Mother Nature transmitting light to us here on Earth. And we have been seeking that light, been inspired by it for eons. Yet we sense and understand light in infinitely different ways. For some, the light of Christmas warms the heart. Others are inspired by moonlight reflected in snowflakes on a cold, December night. The capacity music has to ignite light in its many forms, literal and metaphorical, has been well understood and profoundly felt over the centuries. The sheer mass of music written in tribute to light underlines that simple fact.”

The program for WinterSing 2016 consists of a wide variety of songs, some familiar, some not, including classical works by Eric Whitacre and John Rutter, multi-cultural music of Africa, Ireland, and Spain, spirituals, and a special, up-beat arrangement of “Silent Night” by TCS’s first artistic director, John Yankee.

WinterSing features 75 local singers, ages 7 – 72, in five different choirs – Training Choir, Choristers, OmniVoce, Chorale and Chamber Singers– which have rehearsed since October. They are accompanied by pianist Susan Ensor.

“Wintersing is a Telluride holiday tradition guaranteed to brighten the season and leave us feeling a little (pun intended) lighter – and perhaps even a little more hopeful about the new year,” concludes Rhonda.

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