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Sinfonietta, SMWC join for performance

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WEST TERRE HAUTE ---- The Terre Haute Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra will join with the Music and Theatre Department at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College to present "Over the River and To the Woods," a concert of choral and instrumental music. The event will take place at 3 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 21, in the Cecilian Auditorium on the St. Mary of the Woods College campus. Admission is $10 for adults, and $5 for students and children. For additional information, call Betty C. Martin at (812) 535-6440 or (812) 466-2755. Interested persons can also contact Jim Chesterton at (812) 535-6440 or (812) 243-2581.

Narrator for the concert will be Sr. Jeanne Knoerle S.P., who began her career at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. After entering the Sisters of Providence, she taught journalism, before earning a Doctorate in Chinese Literature and teaching in Taiwan and at the Woods. For 15 years she served as President of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College after which she became a Program Director in the Religion Division of the Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis.

The program will begin with the Madrigal Singers from SMWC, singing four madrigals beginning and ending with French Carols: the traditional "Bring a Torch, Jeannette Isabella" and "Touro-Louro-Louro," by Nicholas Saboly. The Madrigals are directed by Michael Boswell, Asst. Professor of Voice and Director of Choirs.

Steve Prescott, Asst. Prof. of Music and Director of Instrumental Ensembles at SMWC will lead the SMWC Jazz Ensemble in "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" with Nicole Weig as the vocalist. They will then perform the Roger Holmes arrangement of "White Christmas" with Elyse Marshall as the vocalist. The song, "Christmas Time is Here" by Lee Mendelson and Vince Guaraldi will be sung by Tabitha Mark. The Jazz Ensemble will end with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" with vocalist Elyse Marshall returning to sing. The SMWC Wind Ensemble will then take the stage to play "The Nightmare Before Christmas" written by Danny Elfman, and a medley of songs "Christmas Recollection." Dr. Sharon Ammen, Associate Professor of Theatre, will narrate Clement Moore's "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

The Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra will take the stage after intermission and open with "In the Bleak Midwinter," by Gustav Holst. The lyrics to the song were written as a poem by Christina Rossetti in 1872.

It became a Christmas carol when it appeared in "The English Hymnal in 1906," with music by Holst. The Sinfonietta Pops Orchestra will be conducted by James N. Chesterton, Music Director.

The origins of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" are unclear, but it is certainly medieval. The arrangement the orchestra is using today is by Delwyn Elliott. Hershey Kay arranged the traditional French carol "Pat-a-Pan" for the Cleveland Orchestra.

"Pat-a-Pan" revolves around the birth of Jesus, and is told from the perspective of shepherds playing simple instruments. The orchestra will perform the "Children's Christmas Eve," by Niels Wilhem Gade, arranged for string orchestra by Richard Hoffman.

Due to its seasonal theme, "Winter Wonderland" is often regarded as a Christmas song although the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics.

The concert will conclude with "Silent Night," arguably the most famous Christmas song ever written. Part of the wonder of "Silent Night" is that the words came from the imagination of a modest curate and the music was composed by a musician who was not known outside of his village. It has a powerful message of peace that has lasted for a very long time.

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