The Susquehanna Valley Chorale will return to live performances in December 2021 with three performances of its beloved holiday tradition, A Candlelight Christmas, on Saturday, December 11 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, December 12 at 2:30 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in downtown Sunbury.
From the opening candlelight processional to the final ringing-in of Christmas, Candlelight Christmas is modeled after the famous Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King’s College in Cambridge, England.
The performance will include piano, organ, harp, flute and cello, as well as glorious voices singing songs of the season and the traditional ringing-in of Christmas. Featured local soloists include: Christopher Lottes, Maya Caron, Katie Kelley, and Joanna Rees.
The ensemble includes 60 members. The Chorale recently welcomed four new scholarship students from Bucknell and Susquehanna Universities, and many new adult voices. Additional auditions will be held in January.
Adam Dietz, SVC Marketing Coordinator said, “The first sounds we made after such a prolonged absence together was quite emotional. Our Board has put health and safety first since to start of the pandemic, which has been very much appreciated. Our supporters and followers have been extremely understanding, as have our members, who were quite eager to get back in the groove again, even if it meant adhering to strict new policies and protocols.”
Bill Payn, Music Director and Conductor said, “We have all been enrolled on a journey these past two years which have tested our strengths in many ways. In all of these times, music has been our comfort and our guide. The SVC continued to make music during these times and to engage with musicians and composers to confirm to you the resilience of music in our lives.”
He continued, “The SVC is eager to welcome you back to Lessons and Carols. To many of us, the last Christmas season reflected that line from the carol, ‘For in the dark street shineth, the everlasting light.’ For many of us, it was indeed a dark time. It certainly was a dark time at the end of World War I when the Dean of Kings College Cambridge sought to bring the warmth and light of the music and scriptures of the Christmas season to a nation and world which had seen loss, as we have. And yet, as those words and music gave hope and light to them, so they do to us. On behalf of the Board, the Chorus and Orchestra of the SVC, I bid you hope and peace this Christmastide and throughout the New Year.”
The performance will include a dozen festive and uplifting songs including: Once in Royal David’s City, The First Noel, O Come All Ye Faithful, Joy to the World, Candlelight Carol, The Dream Isaiah Saw, A Ceremony of Carols, I Saw Three Ships and Still, Still, Still, among others.
A brand-new work will also be premiered: a stunning arrangement of “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Jen Wagner, a former Lewisburg resident and current teacher at the Milton Hershey School.
The Sponsors for the performance are Martha and Alan Barrick/Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate and William and Lois VandenHeuvel. Co-Sponsors are Luschas, Naparsteck & Crane, LLP and Harmonious Endeavors. Underwriters are Jackie Paul and Al Bothe, Jr.
Tickets for the performance are $25 for adults and $10 for students.
Note that tickets must be purchased in advance either online at SVCMusic.org or by calling 570-547-0455. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
Patrons must be vaccinated and masks are required. Seating will be very limited due to social distancing. Patrons are encouraged to arrive early.
For more information about this performance and future performances, visit SVCMusic.org.