The Suncoast Chorale’s first concert of their 35th anniversary season will celebrate “A Glorious Christmas” on Dec. 7 at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Venice and on Dec. 9 at Venice Presbyterian Church. They will perform a variety of traditional and classic Christmas songs, according to Chorale President, Ray Byron. “Every year we are challenged to provide different music. We have over 40,000 titles and 300,000 pieces in our collection,” he explained, and “most of our selections have not been repeated in at least seven years.”
The 52-member chorus will begin with A. Parker’s “O Come Emmanuel,” followed by J. Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol,” H. Berlioz’ “Thou Must Leave Thy Lowly Dwelling,” D. Dusing’s arrangement of “The Seven Joys of Mary,” L. Spevacek’s arrangement of the Russian children’s carol, “Koyadki” sung by women, and J. Rutter’s “Mary’s Lullaby.” A special arrangement of a Catalonian folk tune “Carol of the Birds” by Suncoast Chorale’s Director Ray Engler will highlight the first half of the concert. “I find the words before I arrange the music,” said Engler. Soloist Diane DeMont will accompany pianist John Renfroe and the Chorale in “Carol of the Birds.” The spirited “Pola/Wyle piece “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” will encourage audience participation. After intermission the chorale will perform F. Mendelssohn’s “Behold a Star from Jacob Shining,” a Czech carol arranged by D. Willcocks, “Rocking,” and an English carol arrangement by D. Dusing “Seven Joys of Mary.” J. Rutter’s “Carol of the Magi” will be performed by cellist, Courtney Renfroe, a recent graduate of Stetson College and the daughter of the chorale’s accompanist, John Renfroe.
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