LEWISBURG - Amidst the holiday hubbub, delightful occasions of good cheer abound this time of year in the area.
One such occasion is the upcoming 2012 winter concert, "Picture Perfect," performed by the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. Whether you enjoy classical, religious or holiday music with an international flavor, all three offerings will be featured in one performance taking place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Zion Lutheran Church, Fifth and Market streets, Sunbury.
The Chorale also has decided to serve up something extra for the holidays while playing off the concert title, "Picture Perfect," by inviting guests to arrive to the concert early to have their holiday photo taken. Each guest who has their picture taken before the concert will receive a free 4-by-6-inch framed holiday photo to take home with them.
Three distinct works by three, beloved, modern composers will fill the air each night of the concert.
The first work, "A Ceremony of Carols," was written by British-born composer Benjamin Britten who is considered a central figure in 20th century classical music. He wrote the masterpiece in 1942 while at sea traveling from the United States to England prior to World War II. It features bold and fresh settings of text from the medieval English celebration of Christmastide. Originally conceived as a series of unrelated songs, the work was later unified into one piece framed with strong, melodic Gregorian plainchant overtones.
The second work featured in the performance is Paul Csonka's "Concierto de Navidad," which will be sung in Spanish and features harp, chorale and strong Latin influences. To describe Austrian composer and conductor Csonka as a "character" is putting it mildly. The composer, who chose to pursue his love for music over financial wealth, was accused of being a spy by the U.S. government and contemplated assassinating Fidel Castro when Csonka settled in Cuba.
The third and final work included in the performance is "Dancing Day" by John Rutter. Rutter, primarily a composer of religious music, described himself as "inspired by the spirituality of sacred verses and prayers." Born in England, Rutter is popular among choral groups throughout the world. Written in 1942, "Dancing Day" showcases Rutter's musical genius by retelling the central event of Christmas simply and vividly in a collection of lively, uplifting dance tunes.
For more information about auditions, performances, membership as well as rehearsal and performance schedules, visit www.svcmusic.org.