VocalEssence and Twin Cities Bronze to “Welcome Christmas” with the ringing of handbells and a cornucopia of Christmas carols
Chorus & Ensemble Singers
Twin Cities Bronze (handbell ensemble), organ and violin
Saturday, December 4 at 7:30 pm—Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, Apple Valley
Sunday, December 5 at 4 pm—Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
Friday, December 10 at 7:30 pm—Normandale Lutheran Church, Edina
Saturday, December 11 at 7:30 pm—Trinity Lutheran Church, Stillwater
Sunday, December 12 at 4 pm—Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (September 1, 2010) – Christmas bells will be ringing this December as the VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers perform their annual Welcome Christmas concerts with Twin Cities Bronze, a performing ensemble specializing in the music and art of English handbells. PhilipBrunelle will conduct.
There will be five performances of Welcome Christmas at various area churches in the first two weeks of December (see box at right). Tickets ($10-$40, service charges apply) are available by calling 612-371-5656 or by visiting www.vocalessence.org. Student and group discounts are available.
Selected by annual audition, the eleven members of Twin Cities Bronze perform with an energetic style that evokes accolades from
audiences and colleagues around the country. The music for this concert has been selected to showcase the brilliant sound of the bells as it combines with the voices of the 125-member VocalEssence Chorus & Ensemble Singers.
Every year since 1998, VocalEssence and American Composers Forum have co-sponsored a contest for composers to write new Christmas carols. Each year the guidelines have called for a different instrument to accompany the singers. Naturally, this year’s contest calls for new carols for chorus with handbells. The winning carols will be premiered at Welcome Christmas.
The 32-voice Ensemble Singers will present garland of Swedish Christmas music, featuring selections by Otto Olsson, Gustaf Nordqvist, Gunnar Idenstam, Agneta Sköld and Sven-David Sandström.
This year, VocalEssence patrons were invited to help choose which Christmas carols would be featured in the concerts via an online poll. Six of their favorites will be performed, including “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Lo, How a Rose” and “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” The audience can also expect to hear some of the music that is on the new VocalEssence Christmas CD, “Behold, This Heavenly Night,” to be released in October on the Clarion label.
Welcome Christmas will be recorded for broadcast in 2011 on Minnesota Public Radio Classical (regional) and American Public Media (national). For additional press information, please contact Malia Cole (firstname.lastname@example.org, 612-547-1459)
or visit www.vocalessence.org.