Naperville Chorus sings for the holiday season at NCC
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media December 9, 2010 12:44PM
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 18
Where: North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
How much: $20 adults; $15 students and seniors
Contact: 630-637-7469 or visit www.northcentralcollege.edu/showtix
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Naperville’s community choir is about to spice up the holidays.
The Naperville Chorus performs an evening of carols and stories told through song Dec. 18 at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall.
The evening’s program includes “A Ceremony of Carols” by Benjamin Britten and “Carols and Lullabies” by American composer Conrad Susa. The 135-member chorus is conducted by Jeordano “Pete” Martinez, professor of music at North Central College, and will be accompanied by harp, guitar and marimba.
“They’re going to get music that is going to get them in a holiday spirit,” Martinez said.
The first half of the program will consist of English composer Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” which he began writing while returning to England from Canada during World War II. “Ceremony” consists of 11 movements, with original text from “The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems” by Gerald Bullett.
“It’s really a very popular piece for all choirs. (Britten) wrote it originally for a boys choir. After it became real popular, women’s choirs started doing it. Eventually it was made into an arrangement for mixed choirs, and that’s the one we’re doing,” Martinez said. “It’s accompanied just by harp. It’s the Old English, but it’s a lot of fun; everybody likes it. It’s based on a variety of texts from the 16th century and earlier. It’s one of the standard choral repertoires. Anybody who’s ever sung in a choral group will undoubtedly know the piece.”
The second half of the program will consist of Conrad Susa’s “Carols and Lullabies,” which was written as a companion piece to “Ceremony of Carols.”
The songs are a celebration of Christmas in the American Southwest, Martinez said, and are sung in both Spanish and English.
“They are accompanied also with the harp, but it also adds marimba and guitar. So it has a very Latin feel to it. They’re fun to sing. And I think the audience will enjoy them,” he said. “It’s a lighter piece than the ‘Ceremony of Carols,’ with the marimba and the guitar and everything. It’s a little more rhythmic. The choir’s really enjoying them; they’re a lot of fun.
“We’re doing Spanish, English, and Old English in the Carols; it’s like three different languages.”
The chorus members are enjoying the music, he said.
“Some compositions, it takes awhile when you start rehearsing them before everybody likes them. These they like from the very beginning. They’re light, it’s not heavy music. It’s the sort of thing that has instant appeal,” he said. “It’s all seasonal Christmas music. It’s appropriate for the time.”
As the music director, Martinez creates the programs for the Naperville Chorus. After Christmas, they will be doing bigger productions with orchestras, so he wanted to give his group something lighter for its holiday program.
“I thought it might be nice for this one that we do something kind of more intimate,” he said. “It’s nice to do something on a different scale.”
“We have been having large audiences. Last Christmas, the place was pretty much sold out,” he said. “Our concerts have been well-received. I’m hoping the same thing happens this year.”