‘Singing Season’ honors American choral legends

  • Tue Nov 22nd, 2011 7:28pm

By Dale Burrows For the Weekly Herald

“Now is the Singing Season” is the apt title of Choir of the Sound’s upcoming concert for the holidays, Dec. 3 and 4.

It’s apt because the concert will celebrate Christmas, the choir’s 35th anniversary, the hopes they have for their 36th season and their gratitude for the fathers of chorale singing in America: Fred Waring and Robert Shaw, to whom the show pays tribute.

Concert highlights will include “Behold That Star,” a women’s piece; “March of the Kings,” a men’s piece; and the responsorial chant, “O, Magnum Mysterium,” with a small ensemble.

On the lighter side will be “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Mistletoe” and “Twelve Days of Christmas,” a singalong with the audience.

To carry joy on the wings of Christmas traditional and mainstream pop is one tall order.

Waring contributed sensitivity, precision and enthusiasm to choral singing in America; and Shaw gave balance between vocal sections, elegance of phrasing and rhythmic vitality.

Because of these attributes, expect an attention to technique in any Waring/Shaw-inspired performance.

How will the Choir fare?

“Don’t put too much weight on that first note,” I heard Choir director Jeremy Matheis tell the men when they were rehearsing “March of the Kings.” “We’re building a march forward, a progression.”

Within seconds, the men had lightened up on the first note and steadily added weight to note after note until voila! A steady march forward.

At that moment, “Now is the Singing Season” sang. I’m betting it will on stage.

‘Singing Season’

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4

Where: Shorecrest Performing Arts Center, 15343 25th Ave. NE, Shoreline

Tickets: $9-$18, call 206 528-9990 or visit www.choirofthesound.org/tickets