A familiar seasonal sentiment will usher in this year’s Cantus Novus concert season, starting with performances in December: “Coming Home … to Celebrate the Holidays.”
The theme has many layers this year as it welcomes back Artistic Director W. Edward McCall, features local composers and, of course, heralds the holidays.
“I’m delighted to be back in the area to once again work with this outstanding group of singers,” McCall said. “Cantus Novus is a wonderful chamber choir that mixes a cappella with piano, organ, brass, and string groups, depending on the repertoire, to create delightful performances.”
“Coming Home … to Celebrate the Holidays” is sure to bring tidings of joy. It will feature works of Vittoria, Praetorius, Britten, Rutter, Stroppe and more. And in keeping with the theme, Cantus Novus is using arrangements from three outstanding local composers:
• Steven Sametz, professor of music and director of the Lehigh University Choral Arts and artistic director of The Princeton Singers, will compose “Be We Merry.”
• Tom Shelton, assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College and associate director, conductor of cantores of Princeton Girlchoir, will compose “I Saw Three Ships.”
• Dr. Jay Kawarsky, professor of music at Westminster Choir College, will compose Ocho Kandelikes to honor those who celebrate Hanukkah.
“We’ll also feature a brass group to help with some of the pieces, and inviting local kids to join in various concerts as some of the pieces call for a children’s choir,” McCall added. “And, of course, there’s audience participation.”
This year’s holiday concerts will take place Friday, December 6, 8 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Solebury, Pa.; Saturday, December 7, 8 p.m. at Newtown Presbyterian in Newtown, Pa.; and Sunday, December 8, 4 p.m. at Christ Congregation in Princeton. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $10 for student admission except for the event at Newtown Presbyterian, which is a $20/$10 suggested donation. Tickets may be purchased online at www.cantusnovus.org, by phone at 215-968-3414, directly from choir members or at the door.
The second in the 2013-’14 series will be “Coming Home … to Celebrate Peace” on May 3 and 4, 2014, at the Solebury and in Princeton locations. Music will honor soldiers and first responders coming home in the spring.
“It’s a celebration of those who protect us and who guarantee our freedom,” McCall explained.
Cantus Novus is an auditioned chamber choir based in Bucks County, Pa. Founded as an intimate group of choral friends, the choir has become an established musical presence in the Delaware Valley, with an innovative approach to programming that at once delights and educates its audiences. Rehearsals are held weekly in Yardley, Pa., where Cantus Novus is Artists-in-Residence at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Contact the group about upcoming auditions, or to volunteer.
Cantus Novus, Box 714, Newtown, Pa. 215-968-3414, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.cantusnovus.org