Christmas Spectacular! 2018
On Sunday, December 16th, at 7:00 p.m., the Choirs, Soloists, Handbell Ensemble, and full orchestra conducted by James Steven Harter presents a festive concert of two pieces by contemporary composer Mark Hayes, and beloved Christmas carols for choir and orchestra arranged by John Rutter, Dan Forrest and Harry Simeone. The concert opens with Hayes’ Gloria that captures the excitement of the Christmas story with brilliant orchestration, and concludes by creating a serene atmosphere with the angels’ message of “peace on earth to those of good will.” Of particular importance – and performed for the first time in Colorado – is the Colorado premiere of Mark Hayes’ new work, Hodie, Christus Natus Est – A Carol Fantasia. Scored for choirs, orchestra, organ, and handbell ensemble, the Hodie is in three sections, each of which incorporates a much-loved Christmas Carol. Unique to this work is the use of a handbell ensemble that adds a shimmering texture to the music. The December 16th concert also presents Christmas carols for choir and orchestra arranged by three highly-respected composers and arrangers. The Chancel Ringers, conducted by Jonathan Faires, will solo with music of the season offering the unique sound of combined bells and chimes.
Three weeks previous to the December 16th concert here in Colorado Springs, conductor James Steve Harter and members of his Youth Chorale, took part in the world-premiere of Hayes’ Hodie, Christus Natus Est at Carnegie Hall [Stern Auditorium] in New York City with Mark Hayes conducting his new piece. Harter was contacted by a concert producer in New York who happened to see an on-line video of the FUMC Youth Chorale and was very impressed with the quality of their singing. The video was submitted as an “audition” piece and Harter and his Chorale were invited to take part in the concert when 250 young people and adults from around the country performed in Carnegie Hall. Says Harter, “It is an honor because, quite honestly and unfortunately, people disparage church music as second-rate. By being invited to participate in this Carnegie Hall concert, our work is validated. I am thrilled to present the Colorado premiere of this new work by Mark Hayes.”
General Admission: $15
Tickets are available online and at the church music office.