West Shore Chorale welcomes young choristers for evening of holiday music

The Chorale rehearses for a concert at Divinity Lutheran Church in Parma.

On Sunday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m., 140 local musicians will take the stage as the West Shore Chorale & Orchestra present their annual holiday concert, Carols & Choruses of Christmas, at Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts. John Drotleff will conduct the 80-member chorus, which has been performing in the area since 1968.

This year the Chorale is thrilled to welcome special guests, Cantate Musica, a 60-voice ensemble of young singers from fifth to ninth grades, directed by Lisa Van Scyoc. Cantate Musica is part of the Oberlin Choristers, an acclaimed community choral program for children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Chorale’s Carols & Choruses concert is in its 23rd consecutive year and has become a holiday tradition here on the West Side. "Our singers are really looking forward to having the community join us,” says the group’s Vice President, Chris Schmitt. “This special night officially kicks off the Christmas season for our members and audience, and we're always happy when new people of all ages join in the fun. Plus there's a reception following the concert with free cookies which is always very crowded and popular!"  

The children of Cantate Musica will perform several pieces with the Chorale along with a set on their own. “Cantate Musica is made up of singers from a wide variety of cities and counties,” says Director, Lisa Van Scyoc. “Music and the love of singing brings us together to make the best sounds we can and express music through our voices. We are so excited to hear the adults sing, unite with them in song, and share a sample of our own selections.”

The Chorale’s conductor, John Drotleff, often plans concerts that include student singers, creating an intergenerational experience for everyone involved. “I love working with children's voices,” says Drotleff. “Not only does it benefit the children to interact with adults and professional musicians, but it also benefits the adults by working with these young musicians who are so full of enthusiasm and life."

Musical selections will include the beautiful double choir setting of the "Magnificat" by Pachelbel, a rich choral setting of the Finnish folk tune "Lost in the Night," Conte's "Ave Maria," Vaughan Williams’ "Fantasia on Christmas Carols" and many others. The evening will also feature the 10-piece professional West Shore Chorale Orchestra performing two U.S. premieres of works by English composer Vaughn Jones. 

Love to sing along? Audience members will have the chance to get into the holiday spirit by singing along to some of their favorite carols. After the concert, everyone is welcome to stay and meet the musicians while enjoying a free reception of holiday treats.    

Concert tickets are $15 and students of all ages are free. Tickets are also available at the door, online at westshorechorale.org or by phone at 216-373-7773. Parking is free and handicap accessible. Magnificat Center for the Performing Arts is located at 20770 Hilliard Blvd. in Rocky River.

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Volume 5, Issue 24, Posted 9:52 AM, 11.26.2013