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Blair Concert Chorale to present 'A Glorious Holiday Concert'

Event is Saturday, Dec. 14, in Altoona


Last updated 12/3/2019 at 1:13pm

The Blair Concert Chorale will present A Glorious Holiday Concert, a concert of John Rutter’s magnificent Gloria and additional works that will enhance the spirit of the season on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 12th Avenue and 14th Street, Altoona. Guest Conductor Rebekah K. O’Brien will direct the 50 member Blair Concert Chorale and 14 guest musicians.

The repertoire for the BCC’s Holiday concert will add depth and variety to the performance and has generated much enthusiasm from the singers. The music for this concert includes:

• John Rutter’s Gloria structured in three movements; the piece is scored for choir, brass, percussion and organ.

• The premiere performance of a piece in five movements composed especially for Guest Conductor Rebekah O’Brien and the Blair Concert Chorale in August 2019 by German composer Christoph Pollak titled Advenias-A Christmas Collection.

• A suite of songs celebrating the Virgin Mary: Ave Maria by Tomas Luis de Victoria, A Hymn to the Virgin by Benjamin Britten, Ave Maria by Anton Bruckner.

• Two additional pieces by Christoph Pollak that evoke childhood and the love of the Christmas season: Kanon and Hear the Little Children.

• An added highlight to the concert will be an audience sing-along of traditional Christmas carols arranged by Ken Young, accompanied by a brass quartet.

Musicans accompanying the Chorale include Kenneth Young, Josh Hillard, Dennis Clawson, Matt Stombaugh – trumpet; Josh Brumbaugh, Brian Rutter – trombone; Kathryn Beck – French horn; John Kovalchik – tuba; James Latten – percussion; and organist, Leslie Thayer will be featured during Gloria.

The beautiful, melodious voices of the Blair Concert Chorale Children’s Choir under the direction of Jamie Hillard and accompanied by Mary Villani will present traditional and contemporary holiday selections. They will join the Blair Concert Chorale in concluding the concert with a lovely arrangement of Silent Night partnered with Peace, Peace, Peace.

Since long-term conductor Dr. Ryan Beeken left the area to take a faculty position at Wichita State University, the Blair Concert Chorale is very pleased to be under the direction of Guest Conductor Rebekah O’Brien for this concert. Ms. O’Brien is delighted to be making her first appearance conducting the Blair Concert Chorale. Primarily seen on the podium as the conductor of the Juniata College Orchestra and the principal guest conductor of the Newark Symphony, Delaware, she recently collaborated and led the Juniata Concert Choir as they joined forces with the Juniata Orchestra on their first international tour through Germany, Switzerland, and France. Last February saw Ms. O’Brien leading the Newark Symphony Choir and Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Dan Forrest’s moving work, Requiem for the Living. Beyond her work as a conductor she also teaches the art of Eurythmy at the Susquehanna Waldorf School. Ms. O’Brien currently lives with her inspiring daughter, Genavieve, in State College.

The Blair Concert Chorale is a one-of-a-kind performance group, providing unparalleled choral music both by and for all ages. Over the years, the BCC has earned a reputation as the area’s premiere presenter of standard classical repertoire, but the group also regularly

introduces exciting new works. The BCC consists of over 50 singers from Blair, Bedford, Huntingdon, and Cambria counties.

A Glorious Holiday Concert will begin at 7:30 pm Saturday, December 14 at First Lutheran Church, 12th Avenue and 14th Street, Altoona. General Admission tickets are are available at Thompson Pharmacies (Chestnut Avenue and Hollidaysburg) and at the door. Tickets for the concert are also available online at http://www.eventbrite.com


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