Thursday, December 23, 2010

Winterlight: A Holiday Concert with YPC Erie

Let's set the scene: picture 75 choristers in small groups laughing and talking together as they decorate for the holidays with carols playing softly in the background. Now picture the older singers slowly turning toward the audience and singing a stirring rendition of "Christmas Time is Here" as the younger singers continue to wrap gifts and hang ornaments. This is how "Winterlight: A Holiday Concert with YPC" began.

Our holiday concert was held on Tuesday, December 21st to a sold out St. Patrick Church in Erie, PA. The night was filled with beautiful music and smiling faces. After the opening song, Cantare took the stage for their set, and their heavenly voices filled the church during John Rutter's "Angels' Carol". They ended their set with an upbeat African Christmas Greeting, "Kuwa Na Krismasi Njema", accompanied by the Pfeiffer-Burleigh World Drummers. The Young Men's Chorus had the audience enthralled from the very first notes of their opening song, Michael McGlynn's "Gaudete". Following intermission, the lights were turned off and the Concert Chorus took our breath away and wowed the audience with a candlelit version of McGlynn's "Jerusalem". After the Young Men joined the Concert Chorus, Chorale performed Will Schmid's "Oh Watch the Stars" with the World Drummers, and then continued their set, ending it with stirring performances of "How Many Christmases" by Jim Papoulis and "Betelehemu", arranged by Barrington Brooks. Cantare came back out to perform the concert's title song, "Winterlight" by Amy F. Bernon with the lights dimmed in front of the nativity scene. Just before the closing number, YPC led the audience in a carol sing-along, although once Santa was on the scene, Cantare members had a very hard time finishing the last carol because their faces were filled with awe as they watched him sneak up on Dr. Bishop! The final song of the night was "Believe" from The Polar Express, and as our emcee Kim Young said, the lyrics were a perfect way to end the night, and a great message for Erie.

Did you miss the holiday concert? After reading the descriptions above or hearing about the concert from your friends, are you wishing you had been there? Were you in attendance, but wishing you could revisit some of your favorite songs? Well, we have very exciting news for you! The concert will be rebroadcast on WQLN and at 7:00 a.m. on December 25th, and again at 3:00 p.m. on December 26th. So, tell your family and friends to tune in and get in the holiday spirit on Christmas morning. What could possibly be better than sitting back with coffee and cocoa, spending time with your loved ones, and listening to beautiful music from Erie's own Young People's Chorus on Christmas morning?

Happy Holidays from all of us at YPC Erie!

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