Saturday, December 5, 2015

Standing Room Only for Music of December

by Kathleen DeVore

Tom Davis, local musician, composer/arranger, and teacher extraordinaire, presented The Music of December - A Concert Class to a packed house on November 29. He, along with 20 of his friends, performed nine selections for us, chosen for their themes of winter, hope and rebirth.

The English carol The Holly and the Ivy, with its ancient Druid roots, had become Christianized by the 17th century, while Rob Raede's haunting song The Candles of Chanukah is from today.

Tom believes that the carols composed by Alfred Burt and Wilha Hutson in the 40's and 50's should be better known, so he chose three for this presentation – Caroling Caroling/ O Hearken Ye (medley) and Some Children See Him (with Thea Dunn, soloist).

Have You Seen a Child? (from Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, the first opera composed for TV in 1951) was performed by Anneliese Smith, Jonathan Smith, Brendon Bass, and Simon Smith, accompanied by Clorinda Noyes, violin, Richard Noyes, cello and Elizabeth Smith, piano.

Rolly York and Jewell Clark treated us to Rolly's original composition Jesus, Our Savior, Our Lord.

The Lutheran hymn Comfort, Comfort Ye My People by Johann Olearius dates from 1671, whereas the concert finale Benediction (Christmas Song) by Dave Matthews was written in 1993.

In a pre-concert interview, Tom said he hoped to leave everyone in a mellow, peaceful mindset. He certainly did!

Warming up before the concert.

The Choir
Sopranos: Thea Dunn, Debby Luxton, Anneliese Smith, Jan Stowell, Carla Boyle-Wight
Altos: Jean Bass, Elizabeth Smith, Patricia Boyle-Wight, Wendy Youmans
Tenors: Tim LeConey, Jonathan Smith, Simon Smith
Basses: Ben Alford, Brendon Bass, Jim Bennett, Steve McCosh

Special Guests
Clorinda Noyes, violin
Richard Noyes, cello
Rolly York, guitar
Jewell Clark, guitar and vocals 

Selected Recordings
None of these recordings has the beautiful instrumental parts composed by Tom Davis for this concert, but they will introduce you to the songs.

The Holly and the Ivy  

The Candles of Chanukah
Caroling, Caroling
Some Children See Him

Have You seen a Child (from Amahl and the Night Visitors) 
Comfort, Comfort Ye My People
Benediction (Christmas Song)

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