Christmas Concert in Penn Yan is Dec. 5

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express
Soloists Nancy Tharp, Peg Inglis, Barb Pinneo, Becky Townley, Corrine DeRue and Pianist Lucinda Loomis rehearse for the concert.

The Penn Yan Community Chorus will be presenting their annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church. The concert is free and open to the public. Two major works will be performed; Vivaldi's Gloria and Benjamin Harlan's Christmas Canticles.

Vivaldi composed in the Baroque period in the 1700s, in which he made two settings of Gloria. The setting for this concert is the more familiar of the two. It is the most performed choral work of Vivaldi.

Consisting of choral movements, a duet and some solos, the work has gone through many editions. The one presented here was first performed in 1939 and remains the most popular version.Soloists for the Gloria are Barbara Pinneo, Peg Inglis, Corrine DeRue, Nancy Tharp and Becky Townley.

The Christmas Canticles is a cantata of carols in four suites. Benjamin Harlan brings favorite carols and beautiful new songs together with narrations to create this cantata. The movements are knit together with various readings. The narrations are read by Linda Howe, Ginny Illi, Stephanie Olsen and Gary Brown. Familiar carols are supported by sparkling accompaniments and rich harmonies. One piece has been inserted into the second suite.

"Bring a Torch, Jennette, Isabella" is a separate arrangement by Howard Helvey. It is an extraordinary arrangement for chorus and piano, four hands. Lucinda Loomis is joined at the piano by Onalee Nixon. Lucinda has been the accompanist for the Penn Yan Community Chorus for several years. "Her high level of musicianship and humor is one of the reasons singers keep singing with us‚" comments Peg Patterson, who is the conductor for the group. Onalee Nixon comes from Bath to sing with the Penn Yan Chorus. She is a featured pianist and organist in the southern tier, having just completed two concerts of keyboard music; one in Bath and one in Horseheads.

The Penn Yan Community Chorus has been performing since 1975 and is funded completely by donations of members and audiences. The group presents three concerts every year; in December, June and August.

Major works in the repertoire include Handel's Messiah, Faure's Requiem, the Glorias of both Vivaldi and Rutter, Rutter's Requiem and the Beethoven Mass in C. The chorus also performs shorter pieces in all styles of music including the classics, Broadway tunes, folk, spirituals, popular songs of the '20s through the 80s, and opera selections. Membership is open and all experienced and not-so experienced singers are welcomed.

Communities represented in the chorus include Penn Yan, Gorham, Rushville, Dundee, Reading Center, Pultney, Geneva, Hammondsport and Bath. Rehearsals are held Monday nights from 7-9 p.m. at the First Baptist Church. The start date for the spring concert is the last Monday of March.