The Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra are in last stages of preparation for their upcoming December free concerts.
Programs are Friday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17, this year at 2 p.m. as dark comes so early. The venue is St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sandpoint, where on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 17, Selkirk Brass will present in the foyer a pre-concert welcome of Christmas selections. Members are Aryan Riener, trumpet; Sandi Wilcox, baritone; Larry Hanna, French; Mark Colburn, trombone; and Bob Curran, tuba.
This season’s featured work fills the first half of the concert. It is “Midnight Mass for Christmas” by early Baroque French composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634-1704). The Mass sections are based on French Christmas carols including, “A Young Maiden of Noble Heart,” “Where Are The Happy Shepherds Going,” and “At Midnight There Was An Awakening.”
Soloists in the Mass are sopranos Jeanie Ball, Jean Imperatrice, Loy Harding and Laura Peterson. Altos are Rachel Castor, Mary Ann Cooper and Marsha Shupp. Tenors are Andy Cooper and Debra Douglas. Basses are Alan Ball and Gerald Fluhrer.
“We performed this piece eight years ago and after receiving some requests to do it again, the chorale and orchestra readily agreed,” said director Mark Reiner.
“The Mass is a wonderful balance of Baroque style and Mass structure mixed in with French carols,” Reiner went on to say. “We all look forward to presenting this to the community free of charge, in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which has always welcomed our concerts. We also wish to thank the Seventh-day Adventist Church which has provided free rehearsal spaces for many years. We are very grateful to both churches for supporting our musical endeavors.”
The concert’s second half will open with a movement from a Brahms piano trio, played by violinist Tess Halverson, cellist Sam Minker and pianist Caren Reiner. Following Brahms will be the chorale and orchestra with music by Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi (1676-1741). Five choruses and one quartet with Caren Reiner, alto; Debra Douglas, tenor; Gerald Fluhrer and Alan Ball, basses, are from Beatus Vir (Blessed Is The Man), and closing the concert will be two uplifting choruses from Vivaldi’s most well-known “Gloria.”
The Pend Oreille Chorale and Orchestra is an all-volunteer group of singers and instrumentalists who come together from a wide area to rehearse for several months to prepare for free concerts twice yearly, now in its 23rd season.