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December 11, 2012 > Douglas Morrisson offers Holiday Concert

Douglas Morrisson offers Holiday Concert

In their final performance of the year, the Douglas Morrisson Theatre Chorus presents "The Holiday Concert," a collection of special songs for a special time of the year. From December 14-16, attendees will enjoy a diverse collection of seasonal sounds under the direction of Special Guest Conductor April McNeely with musicians Jesse Micek and Aaron Iosefa on piano and Bob Blankenship on drums/percussion.

McNeely comes to the Chorus with more than 25 years' experience in choral singing and conducting, and has been a featured soprano soloist with many symphony orchestras and choirs. An active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association, McNeely currently conducts The Menlo Park Chorus and Kol Truah Jewish Choir of the East Bay and serves as Director of Music at the First United Methodist Church of San Leandro. McNeely teaches applied voice at Santa Clara University and maintains a private voice studio in Hayward. She holds a Master's Degree in Musicology from California State University, East Bay.

The evening will be full of rich sounds and stories, with McNeely providing some insight into those less familiar. "'The Banquet Fugue' is part of a larger work called, "The Reluctant Dragon." A boy who loves myths discovers that a real dragon has moved into his neighborhood so he goes to visit him. While he is there St. George shows up to slay the Dragon but the Dragon - who is a poet - refuses to fight. Reluctantly, St. George admits that he really doesn't want to slay the Dragon anyway so they decide to stage a tournament instead. Everyone celebrates the Dragon's alleged demise with a banquet (The Banquet Fugue.) Not one to miss a good meal, the Dragon shows up and after some discussion everyone decides that since it's almost Christmas the Dragon should be allowed to stay. They finish the banquet off by joining in a Christmas carol. And, of course, they all live happily ever after.

"'The Snickelways of York,' set in a light madrigal style, tells of a man in York, England, hurrying home for his Christmas Eve Supper, who unwisely takes a shortcut down 'Mad Alice Lane,' one of the hundreds of medieval alleys called 'snickelways' that wind through the heart of York. He becomes hopelessly turned around before finally being rescued and directed home by 'a red-suited man with a nod and a wink.' St. Nick gets him back to York just in time to hear the bells of York Minster greeting the dawn of Christmas Day - but as he turns to thank him, he finds that Nick has 'snick'd away.'"

"Various Themes on Fa-la-la" (arranged by Chuck Bridwell) features musical references such as Rossini's William Tell "Overture," Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Strauss' "On the Blue Danube," and Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

"A Musicological Journey through the Twelve Days of Christmas" (arranged by Craig Courtney) will take listeners on the 12 obvious stops, hitting such time periods as 6th century Rome (Gregorian Chant), 16th century Italy (Monteverdi - Madrigal), 18th century Austria (Mozart - Serenade), 19th century Germany (Wagner - "Ride of the Valkyries" from "Die Walkure"), 19th century Russia (Tchaikovsky - "Dance of the Reed Flutes" from "The Nutcracker"), and ending in the19th century United States of America (J.P. Sousa - "Stars and Stripes Forever").

The audience will be invited to sing-a-long on such holiday standards as "Joy to the World," "The First Noel," "Feliz Navidad," "The Christmas Song," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre Chorus is sure to put you in the holiday mood with a wonderful celebration of the season.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 60 and over, and $10 for students, juniors, and TBA members with ID.

The Holiday Concert
Friday, Dec 14 and Saturday, Dec 15: 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 16: 2 p.m.
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22311 North Third St., Hayward
(510) 881-6777
Tickets: $10 - $15

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