The Genesee Chorale is pleased to invite the community to two upcoming Christmas concerts: one on Friday, December 2 at Our Lady of Mercy at 44 Lake Street in LeRoy and another on Friday, December 9 at St. James Episcopal Church at 405 East Main Street in Batavia. Both performances begin at 7:00 PM. Presale tickets cost $8 and can be purchased at www.geneseechorale.com or from a chorale member. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10.
This year's musical selections are unified upon the symbolism of the rose. "It's a symbol many people recognize-sometimes intuitively-by the art and music they've encountered in life. The Christian church's most traditional art-its music, its paintings, its sculptures, even its architecture, regularly use the rose as a motif to represent both the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child." More subtly, the rose is also an element of a garden, also hints at paradise lost and found.
"With the rose as our central image," said Director Ric Jones, "we've prepared a diverse repertoire to honor this tradition. What's compelling is how nuanced and layered the symbol really is. As a group, we've been studying both the music and lyrics since our start in September, and since that time, I think a lot of us have come to understand it in unexpected ways."
The Genesee Chorale, now completing its 45th season, is known for their varied and thematic approach to their music. One year, the concert was a song-by-song telling of the Christmas story; last season, each song was a variation on the concept of Light. These themes allow the Chorale to perform traditional Christmas favorites while exploring new and challenging works.
This year's five song "Les Chansons des Roses" by composer Morten Lauridsen is that piece. Written in French, it is based upon a series of poems by Rilke. Each song is markedly different, ranging from the series' light, whimsical pieces, to deeply moving and reflective, particularly the concluding piece, "Dirait on."
"This program examines themes of love, gratitude, faith, growth, peace, and harmony," said Chorale President Heather Lovelace. "I think the audience will enjoy the beauty of each piece and come away feeling uplifted and moved."
The concert will feature soloist Janine Fagnan singing "The Rose." It will also include performances from soloist Fran Thomas, as well as an ensemble of singers, Merry Lou Holley, Peggy Thomas, Fran Thomas, and Mark Christensen for the song "Let There Be Peace on Earth."
The Genesee Chorale is a community chorus founded in 1971 with members from Genesee County and seven surrounding counties. The Chorale's repertoire includes a wide variety of music in various styles from motets and madrigals of the Renaissance, to folk, musicals, and jazz. The Chorale always welcomes new singers. The Chorale is directed by Ric Jones, who is the owner of Imagine Music Publishing, the Musical Director of the Brighton Symphony Orchestra and The Middleport Community Choir, and is also the organist at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Medina and Trinity Lutheran Church in Wolcottsville.