Commonwealth Chorale to present ‘Carols and Cantatas’

Published 3:51 pm Thursday, December 8, 2022

“Carols and Cantatas for Christmas,” to be presented by the Commonwealth Chorale on Saturday Dec. 10 at Crenshaw United Methodist Church located at 200 Church Street in Blackstone and Sunday, Dec. 11, at Farmville United Methodist Church, will span the centuries this holiday season. Both concerts are at 4 p.m.

“I’m pleased to work with singers on music that promises to once again bring the joy and happiness of the Christmas season to our audiences,” Artistic Director Carol J. Henderson said.

Combining classical repertoire with contemporary Christmas favorites offers a musical journey through many seasons of holiday tradition.

“This season’s concert presents a delightful mix — from a charmingly petite cantata by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681- 1767) to Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ and five Alfred Burt Carols set to music in the 1940s and 50s,” Henderson added. “Along with the delightful simplicity of the Baroque with G. P. Telemann, we have two selections by Mendelssohn, ‘From Heav’n on High,’ and ‘When Jesus Our Lord Was Born in Bethlehem.’”

Soloists will also be featured during the performance. Strings and woodwinds, piano and organ will provide accompaniment.

To close the performance, the audience will be invited to join in singing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s ‘Messiah.’

Henderson, the Chorales’ artistic director since 2019, received a bachelor of music and master of music degrees from Westminster Choir College. She currently serves as minister of music at Clarksville Presbyterian Church.

A pianist, organist and choir director, Henderson loves choral music and sees her role as chorale director as another opportunity to share that love.

“The Commonwealth Chorale is important to this community and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of it,” she commented.

The Commonwealth Chorale, with membership representing all ages and musical backgrounds, includes singers from many surrounding counties and towns.

“‘Cantatas and Carols’ presents a delightful mix,” Henderson concluded. “This concert will take you on a holiday journey through the sweeping romanticism of Mendelssohn and simplicity of Telemann’s Baroque to the more contemporary Christmas card poetry of the Alfred Burt Carols and ‘White Christmas.’ We hope this program will bring joy to your family and friends.”

The concerts are free, and all are invited to attend.

Visit www.commonwealthchorale.org. for more information on the Commonwealth Chorale. Concert updates will also be posted on the Commonwealth Chorale of Virginia Facebook page.