Jennifer Rodgers was named artistic director and conductor of the Everett Chorale in April. (Photo by Jim King)

Jennifer Rodgers was named artistic director and conductor of the Everett Chorale in April. (Photo by Jim King)

Everett Chorale promises ‘Mystery and Wonder’ this weekend

It’s the group’s first performance under the leadership of a new artistic director and conductor.

The Everett Chorale is promising more than just music at its concerts this weekend.

“We want to take the audience on a pretty good journey through time,” Jennifer Rodgers said. It’s the group’s first performance under Rodgers’ direction; she was named artistic director and conductor in April.

The concerts will include a mix of early music, songs that are Christmas-themed, and some she hopes will evoke a sense of wonder in the audience. “We’ll do a blend,” she said.

The concerts are themed “Mystery and Wonder: Birth and Light” and will include the 13th century song “Alle Psallite,” the French carol “Pat-A-Pan,” “Promise of Light,” “O Magnum” and “See, Amid the Winter’s Snow.”

There are some surprises planned, too. “The other thing I love about this is to engage the audience’s senses in different ways,” Rodgers said. “We’ll be out and about, getting the audience to listen to us a little differently.”

That involves some visual and audio touches — this from a person who has a theater background (her master’s degree is in opera theater). Some singers will perform from the balcony. Rodgers said she wants the audience “to be hooked into this story with us.”

She is leading a group with a 53-year history, stepping into a role held by Lee Mathews for 25 years.

Any such big change brings with it excitement as well as a little apprehension, Rodgers said, both for the group and herself.

But there’s been high energy at rehearsals, she said. “It’s a great feeling to walk into the room and everybody is on their toes and excited.”

The concert will double as Rodgers’ final doctoral recital, needed to complete her degree in musical arts at the University of Washington.

The chorale will be joined by a quartet of UW chambers singers, as well as Andrew Angell, a percussionist with a doctorate in musical arts from the UW.

The 80-member chorus has met for 12 rehearsals preparing for this weekend’s concert — about 36 hours of practice.

“I’m excited to meet everybody and all the people whole like to come out for the concert,” she said. “We don’t exist without them.”

Mill Creek Chorale

The 85-member Mill Creek Chorale led by Sean Berg also will be giving two performances this weekend — both on Saturday. They’re titled “It’s the Very Best Time of Year.”

The Holiday Brass Ensemble and the First Presbyterian Church Chancel Bells will perform with the group. The concerts will include: “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, “Lully, Lulla, Lully,” “O Nat Lux” and “The Very Best Time of Year.”

The concerts are set for 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1 at Everett First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave., Everett.

Tickets are $10 for seniors and students, and $15 for general admission.

For more, go to millcreekchorale.brownpapertickets.com, or call 425-357-0245.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

If you go

What: Everett Chorale’s “Mystery and Wonder: Birth and Light”

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 3 p.m. Dec. 2

Where: Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett

Tickets: $20 general admission, and $15 seniors, military, and students

What: Mill Creek Chorale’s “It’s the Very Best Time of the Year”

When: 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 1

Where: Everett First Presbyterian Church, 2936 Rockefeller Ave.,Everett

Tickets: Seniors and students $10, other adults $15. millcreekchorale.brownpapertickets.com

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