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Civic Chorale to present 'My Spirit Rejoices' concert Dec. 15

Staff Report • Dec 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM

The Civic Chorale will present its Christmas concert, entitled “My Spirit Rejoices,” at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15 in the First Presbyterian Church of Johnson City. There is no admission charge for the concert; donations are accepted at the door, with a $10 suggested donation. The concert will be completed in plenty of time to allow patrons to have dinner, and then also attend the concert of the Mountain Empire Children’s Choral Academy that evening, if they wish.

Following the Chorale’s Christmas tradition, the first half of the program is comprised of compositions spanning several centuries, while after intermission, the program features settings of familiar and unfamiliar carols and seasonal music.

This year the Chorale is pleased to present the regional premiere of a work by local composer Robert Campbelle. His composition, “Magnificat” is a setting of Mary’s song from the gospel of Luke, scored for choir, oboe, and keyboard.

The program opens with a vigorous composition by William Mathias, “Sir Christemas” for organ and choir, featuring the newly installed Berghaus organ at First Presbyterian Church, with Dr. David Runner at the organ. Following Campbelle’s composition, the Chorale sings the same text as set by baroque-era composer Johann Pachelbel. Brent Pierce’s lush “How Still He Rests” again features oboe, along with choir, soprano soloist, and windchimes. The first half concludes with “Nunc Dimittis” by Alexander Gretchaninoff in a sonorous example of the tradition of Russian liturgical music.

Following intermission, the Chorale sings settings of carols, this year with several from the French heritage, and concludes with their traditional presentation of “Still, Still, Still” in Norman Luboff’s arrangement.

The Civic Chorale was founded in 1973 by Robert LaPella with a small group of invited singers and Jane LaPella as the gifted accompanist. Over the years, the group has grown to become the region’s premiere auditioned volunteer chorus. In addition to singing the standard choral repertoire from Gregorian chant to modern compositions, the Chorale has presented numerous world and regional premieres and frequently collaborated with other music organizations in the region, including the Symphony of the Mountains, the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, and the East Tennessee Children’s Choir.

Since 1998, the Chorale has been led by conductor David Hendricksen. Accompanists are Lisa Runner, piano, and David Runner, organ. For additional information, visit the Chorale web site at www.thecivicchorale.org or contact the conductor by phone at 423-638-0409 or by email at conductordavid@embarqmail.com.

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