Music is almost as integral to Christmas as the presents and the tree.
Just like modern songwriters, in classical times gone by, composers wrote
songs and scores specifically to celebrate the holiday season. These works were
trotted out each Christmas, sung by choirs and played by orchestras and
To kick off the Christmas season, three such shows are being held in the
Anniston area. The first, the A Cappella Choir of Jacksonville State University,
is scheduled to perform Sunday in the First Presbyterian Church on Henry Road in
Under the direction of Patricia Corbin, director of choral activities at JSU,
the concert features vocal students performing both Christmas works and
traditional concert choral music. Among the works to be sung are “Salvation Is
Created” by Russia’s Pavel Grigorievich Chesnokov, “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind”
by England’s John Rutter and “Ezekiel Saw De Wheel” by black composer William
Levi Dawson of Montgomery.
In addition, three students — Judy H. Shealy, Matthew Headley and D. Jarrod
Lee — will conduct the choir for “Carol of the Bells,” “Chill of the Nightfall
and “The Animals Improvise Counterpoint.”
The concert is free and starts at 3 p.m.
Next up on the Christmas program is the Annual Renaissance Madrigal Dinner,
set for Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1, at JSU’s Gamecock Center. The
program begins each night at 7 p.m.
The evenings begin with Wassail (cocktail hour, for the non-Renaissance
types) and then a seven-course dinner. The title of the dinner is “The King’s
Birthday” and features a production by the same name that was written by and
stars JSU students. Don’t worry. Despite the Renaissance’s reputation for being
somewhat bawdy, the dinner is a family oriented event.
Seat reservations are $30 for regular seating and $55 for patron seating.
Advanced purchase is required. All reservations must be received by the JSU
Choral Activities office by noon on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Call 782-5544 for
On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Calhoun County Civic Chorale presents its annual
Christmas Concert. Starting at 3 p.m. in the First Baptist Church in
Jacksonville at 230 Seventh St., the free program includes choral and solo
repertory performances, including featured vocalists Teresa Cheatham-Strickin
and Nathan Wight. Accompanied by the JSU Choral Choir, they will perform such
works as “Missa Brevis Sancti” by Haydn and “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” by
Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Solo works by David Dempsey and Abbey Parker also are scheduled, as well as
such familiar Christmas carols as “I Saw Three Ships,” “In the Bleak Midwinter”
and “There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob” from such soloists as Andy Bumpus and
Susie Francis Dempsey.
About Shawn Ryan
Shawn Ryan is the travel editor and entertainment
editor for the Star.
See story at The Anniston Star's website: www.annistonstar.com