Lend an Ear to CALC’s Sounds of the Season

Kateri Kopicki, Reporter

The Choral Arts of Luzerne County will perform its sixth annual holiday concert, “Sounds of the Season,” under the musical direction of John Fitzgerald, who hopes new choral members will join the group.

CALC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate members and surrounding com- munity through the performance of captivating and inspiring works of choral music. CALC encourages and welcomes students, adults and senior citizens to join the group and attend concerts.

Fitzgerald said people of all ages should attend “Sounds of the Season” because the choral arts has a lot to offer the community, he said. “I believe that the concert we are preparing for will show

the choir in a good light. It will demonstrate the musicality and awareness that a good choir needs to show.”

Fitzgerald has worked with major choirs in concert halls across New York and Philadelphia. He has performed a wide repertoire ranging from Mahler’s 8th Symphony to Beethoven’s 9th. He has performed with notable conductors Pierre Boulez, Kurt

Masur, Mariss Jansons, Christoph Eschenbach, Gilbert Kaplan, and Ton Koopman.

Fitzgerald said the Dec. 14 and 15 concerts will adhere to the group’s mission to educate the community by featuring pieces of “music that people would appreci- ate and possibly some music that they would’ve never heard.”

Selections include diverse pieces from Adam Lay Ybounden to Carol of the Bells, among other holiday-inspired works.

Caitlin Prebish, a sophomore at Wyoming Valley West High School and CALC member, said her favor- ite piece to perform this semester “is a tie between [The Crown of] Roses and Coventry Carol.”

The lyrics in one of Prebish’s favorites, The Crown of Roses, show some of the terrifying events sur- rounding the Passion, such as receiving a crown of thorns. Coventry Carol is a choral piece from the 16th century that the group will performed a cappella, or without accompaniment. Its eerie melody represents a mother’s lament for her doomed child during the reign of King Herod of Bethlehem, since he declared every boy under the age of two to be slaughtered.

Sixteen-year-old Prebish challenges choral arts enthusiasts to attend the group’s sixth annual holiday concert. She said the selections “difficult [but] if people can handle them,” the challenging works of music, that is, then they should lend an ear to one of the upcoming concerts.

Fitzgerald said he is working to attract audience and guest-group members.

“I have reached out to [local music education teachers] Scott Coates and Bernie Gardzalla and invited them to bring some of their small, select choirs to sing with us in the spring.”

The spring 2014 concert will feature CALC’s members plus the ensembles from the Wyoming Valley West Middle and High School choirs as directed by Scott Coates and Bernard Gardzalla.

This union between CALC and the younger choral groups is intended to spark a revival of the arts in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Elisabeth Shovlin, junior speech- language pathology major, agrees that CALC helps to bring choral activity to an area seemingly deprived of musical artistry. “I love

to sing in choral groups and was unable to make rehearsals for the Chamber Singers on campus, so I looked for other opportunities to join a choral community,” she said

The holiday concert is set for Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 35S. Franklin St. Wilkes-Barre,and Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3:00 pm at Christ Lutheran Church, 210 W. Green St. Hazleton, Ticketsare $10 for students and senior citizens, $15 for adults. Tickets can be purchased in advance and at the door. Checks can be made payable to “Choral Arts of Luzerne County” and sent to 190 S. Sprague Ave. Kingston, PA 18704. For more information call 570- 283-2000 or visit choralartslc.org

Anyone interested in joining may call 570-283-2000, e-mail the group at [email protected] org, or to visit choralartslc.org for updates about spring 2014 open rehearsals.

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