Oratorio Chorale

Sing We Noël Concert

As the holiday season kicks into full swing, Oratorio Chorale, directed by Emily Isaacson, is pleased to announce “Sing We Noël,” the Chorale’s first annual holiday concert, to be held on Saturday, December 20, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Brunswick. In performances at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., the 50-member chorale will be joined by organist John Corrie, soprano Mary Sullivan, and the Norumbega Brass Ensemble as they perform an array of new and traditional holiday selections.

Among the pieces performed will be Morten Lauridsen’s ethereal “O Magnum Mysterium,” Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque,” “The Truth Sent from Above,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and a world premiere of “Three Kalevala Songs,” by Scott Ordway. For this set of songs, his second commission for the Oratorio Chorale, composer Ordway used selections from “Kalevala,” a 19th-century national Finnish epic that depicts, among other things, the legend of a virgin mother, Marjatta, who bears a striking resemblance to the Virgin Mary.

In addition to the works performed by the Chorale, there will be numerous opportunities for the audience to join in the cheer, as all will be invited to sing traditional Christmas carols such as “O come, All Ye Faithful,” “The First Nowell,” and “Ding dong! Merrily on High.”

John Corrie is artistic director of the Lewiston-based Maine Music Society and a professor of musicianship and voice at Bates College, where he also directs the Bates College Choir. An accomplished performer on both harpsichord and organ, he has studied at Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, and Yale University, and he has also been a Fulbright Scholar in Organ at conservatories in Vienna. He will accompany soprano Mary Sullivan and the Chorale and will play J.S. Bach’s Chorale Prelude “In Dulci Jubilo.”

Soprano Mary Sullivan is artist in residence with the Oratorio Chorale and has appeared as a soloist with numerous ensembles in New England, including Cantemus, the Concord Women’s Chorus, and the Lincoln Festival Chorus. Sullivan will sing “Rejoice Greatly” from Handel’s Messiah.

The Norumbega Brass Ensemble, featuring Michelle Kingston, trumpet, Paul Thomas, French horn, Tom Michaud, trombone, and Scott Vaillancourt, tuba, will perform traditional Christmas music by Praetorius, Gabrieli, and Brahms.

After each concert, there will be a reception for all audience members and singers, with refreshments including hot cocoa and homemade cookies, as well as coloring books for the kids.