Dear Singers and Musicians:
With arrival of Labor Day, the start of school, and football, we know that fall is coming, and Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas aren’t far behind, so that means that:
THE CANTATA IS COMING! THE CANTATA IS COMING!
This Year’s Performance Date: 10 December 2017
(7:00 PM, St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Church, Hornell)
Music Pickup, Listen Through, and
First Rehearsal: 15 October 2017
United Presbyterian Church, Hornell
Rehearsal Times: 6:30-8:30 PM Sunday, beginning October 15th
This is your invitation to participate in this year’s Community Christmas Cantata, but also, we ask you to help spread the word to those wo may wish to participate. Our email list may have older or invalid addresses, and we want to make sure that we reach everyone who sang with us last year and recruit other singers as well. Please post the attached announcement in your church, at work, or any other visible place. Make as many copies as you need. We’re not sending a letter to area churches this year. Instead, we’re relying on you to publicize the Cantata by posting the announcement and placing the information in your bulletins and/or newsletters.
Here are the rehearsal details. Our first meeting is Sunday, 15 October. You can purchase scores starting at 5:30 PM. We will have the music playing, and there will be a regular rehearsal, 6:30-8:30 with our very own worry-early music director, Mark Smith. Music pick-up and rehearsals will be at The United Presbyterian Church, 150 Main Street in Hornell (use the Church Street entrance). All subsequent rehearsals (except for the one on Saturday, 9 December) will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, also at The United Presbyterian Church.
The cost of the music is $15. The music price includes a little extra to pay for orchestration and expenses, such as shipping costs.
Mark has “auditioned” many Christmas cantatas and has selected “Stars of Glory” by Tom Fettke and Thomas Grassi. “Brimming with ancient Celtic flavor, Stars of Glory radiates the promise of the light of God’s salvation, fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. Variously tender, introspective, joyous, and infectious, the selections in this work are connected by the common thread of their Celtic roots.” In addition we will be singing a stunningly beautiful Spanish Carol and a rocking Gospel number
A preview of “Stars of Glory” can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCIz6_hN4bQ
And yes, we will also perform the “Hallelujah Chorus” from “Messiah.” (Dig out your copy, if you have one!) We’ll also have the traditional carol sing with the audience. That’s always a moving finish to our musical celebration of the coming of Christ.
If you’re not sure about participating in this year’s Cantata, let me make some points that might help you decide to make the commitment. First, our chorus is open to inexperienced singers. We don’t have auditions. All we ask is that you are serious about your participation by attending rehearsals and by practicing a little bit on your own. Mark is not only a wonderful director; he is a great choral teacher. Second, this is a short commitment – eight weeks. I sing in my church choir, in the Cantata chorus, and in Orpheus. I love to sing in choral groups, but that wasn’t always the case. I started singing as an adult when Jackie Walker (the first Cantata director) asked me to commit to eight weeks of singing in the Cantata. That got me hooked, and maybe you’ll get hooked too. Even if you don’t, it’s just eight weeks, with one rehearsal a week. Third, we don’t have age limits. If you’re a senior, and you’re worried about standing on risers for the performance, we can make sure that you stand on the floor, or that you sit. If you’re a young person, we welcome you as long as you are a serious, full participant. Rehearsals are both fun and hard work (the two really can be compatible!). Discipline is required, because Mark has a lot of ground to cover each time we meet. Fourth, this is an opportunity to join with friends and strangers (who won’t be strangers after you sing with them) to present a gift to the community, a very precious gift at a time when the true meaning of Christmas is needed more than ever. Fifth (and I’ll stop with five, even though I could keep going), we have an amazing director – Mark Smith – who really makes the hard work of rehearsing a joy and the highlight of the week for many of us.
Join Us – Please!
Please make the commitment to attend all of the rehearsals. We know that jobs, travel, illness, and other events in your life may force you to miss one or two rehearsals. However, please remember that the morale of the group and the enjoyment of the process are directly linked to optimum attendance. Our performance in St. Ann’s is the highlight and culmination of our efforts, but the fellowship and enjoyment of participating in the cantata is rooted in the rehearsals. So please give this your most serious consideration.
On behalf of the Hornell Community Choir, best wishes! We look forward to having you singing with us this year!
flyer announcement–2017 (PDF)
flyer announcement–2017 (MS Word)