DECEMBER 2, 2015

Glad Tidings! Music for a Winter's Night Dec. 12 Songs of the season

MESA – Cold winds may not often blow into the Valley of the Sun, but we still need the warmth of music like Cecilia McDowall's A Winter's Night. Through creative re-harmonization, rhythmic variation, and imaginative linking passages, McDowall uses beautiful carols to conjure a joyful atmosphere, delighting with familiar and surprising material in equal measure.

This lovely celebration of carols opens the Chorale's winter concert. Performances of Glad Tidings! Music for a Winter's Night will take place Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 15 E. First Avenue, Mesa and Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015 at 3 p.m. at La Casa De Cristo Lutheran Church, 6300 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale. Tickets are $18 for adults/$15 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 480-305-4538.

This concert includes songs of the season, old and new, with works by Mendelssohn, Paul Mealor, and Mack Wilberg plus arrangements by Jackson Berkey, Randol Alan Bass, and Michael McGlynn. Mendelssohn's multi-layered There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob begins with gentle passages proclaiming the Christmas prophecy, moves through an animated section, and concludes with a setting of the chorale, How Brightly Shines the Morning Star.

It is a classic of music's Romantic Era. A mesmerizing setting of A Spotless Rose by Mealor will be familiar to concertgoers as a version of the well-known Lo, How a Rose.

Its fairest bud unfolds to light
Amid the cold, cold winter,
And in the dark midnight.

The gentle carol, O Who Will Come and Listen This Night, is a perfect counterpoint to robust versions of Deck the Halls and The Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Chorale is accompanied by brass and organ on several pieces, adding to the festive atmosphere, and the 60 voices of the Chorale will join with the audience during our much-anticipated Sing-Along portion of the concert. Lifting voices in song together is the perfect way to usher in this beautiful season.