Telluride Choral Society: WinterSing, 12/8 & 12/10

Telluride Choral Society: WinterSing, 12/8 & 12/10

The Telluride Choral Society’s WinterSing, #24, takes place Friday, December 8, 7 p.m. at Christ Church on Columbia Avenue; the performance on Sunday, December 10, is at 4 p.m., also at Christ Church. Tickets are $20 for adults; $10 for students, available at the door. For more information, call (970)729-0082.

No holiday is more closely associated with music than Christmas, whose evolution as a cultural phenomenon is reflected in those sounds.

As Christmas became more secular, spiritual songs were largely supplanted by chestnuts such as Rudolph, sleigh bells ring (are you listening?).

And if you scan that list, guess who wrote the biggest Christmas hits? Answer: ironically, Jewish composers such as Irving Berlin (“White Christmas”); Mel Torme (“The Christmas Song”); and Felix Bernard (“Winter Wonderland’), etc.

While it may be frustrating for the faithful, who feel the true meaning of the holiday has been preempted by commercialism, the fact is we live in multicultural times, when the blending and mixing of peoples and traditions is inevitable – and that is a good thing, especially in the face of global socio-cultural trends to the contrary.

Scratch the surface, bag the canned rhetoric, and perhaps we find Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Buddhists, people of whatever beliefs from all over the world are more alike than different.

That is the hope anyway.

In that spirit of coming together, American Christmas celebrations now appear to belong to everyone everywhere.

It is in that spirit that we look forward to the Telluride Choral Society‘s annual WinterSing.

Per Choral Society director extraordinaire Rhonda Muckerman, this year’s concert focuses on all that is good in the world.

It focuses on hope.

“The Telluride Choral Society invites everyone to our 24th annual WinterSing performances! Since 1994, the Choral Society has presented seasonal songs from all around the world, and from all traditions and genres to illuminate, captivate and elevate with the magical quality of this special time of year,” said Muckerman. “This year’s offerings are no different, songs of peace and joy with an international flair including music from Scotland, England, Spain, Israel, Germany, and Africa, with a sprinkling of American classical and folk.”

WinterSing begins with “Alleluia, Rejoice!,” a magical setting of the traditional “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” punctuated with hand bells. The concert continues with American composer Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia,” through which the underlying theme of peace, tranquility and celebration that runs throughout the program is reaffirmed.

A feeling that will hopefully remain into a new and better year.

Telluride Choral Society groups include the Chorale, Chamber Singers, Training Choir, Choristers and OmniVoce.

They are accompanied by pianist Susan Ensor; violinist MaryBeth Tukman, percussionist Alan Bradley; and directed by artistic director Rhonda Muckerman.

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