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Welcome to the 2016-2017 Season

We look forward to this season.  December 3 at 7:30 P.M. will bring us back to our familiar Wreath of Carols which has become a favorite of ours and our audiences over the years.  Because we do this concert in "collage" format, we go through a lot of music in a little more than an hour of singing.  This gives us the opportunity to sing our favorite seasonal music, explore new pieces, hear from our soloists, and introduce our  instrumentalist friends as featured performers as well as in an accompanist role.  This year we will be joined by William Brettschneider, a wonderful classical guitarist.  Once again, First Presbyterian Church of Grand Haven at 508 Franklin Avenue will host the "Wreath.'  It is a beautiful venue with an outstanding acoustic and splendid pipe organ.  Maryanne Beery, Director of Music at the church, and the rest of the staff there make us feel more than welcome and make being their guests an easy task.  Somebody once said that this concert is "... a work of affection and good will." The church views this concert as a gift to the community so there is no admission charge.  Please join us.


December 16 at 7:30 P.M. will find us, along with the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids joining the West Michigan Symphony Orchestra for its Classical Holiday concert.  You will be treated to Muskegon's outstanding orchestra and soprano Martha Guth and mezzo Sara Murphy in this evening of holiday favorites.  Tickets for this performance are available from the Symphony's box office at 360 W. Western Avenue or by phone at 231.726.3231


April 29 at 7:30 the Central United Methodist of Muskegon, 1011 2nd Street, will end the season.  There will be several surprises on that concert.  Stay tuned.


Latest News

Last Season

When we survey last season, it was unusual to say the least.  Our first concert took us on the road to Grand Rapids to The Basilica of St. Adalbert.  What a thrill!  This beautiful sanctuary has an acoustic more commonly found in the great churches of Europe.  It was almost as if the space said, "welcome," to the sound of the choir.  We did some Renaissance pieces, a couple of things with the organ, played with distinction by Peter Kurdziel, Director of Music at the church, and finished with some of our own favorite sacred works.  In all a great afternoon.  December found us joining with the Motet Choir of Muskegon's First Congregational Church for Cantatas I & III of Bach's Christmas Oratorio.  Our own Tom Clark joined with three world-class soloists to make a very special experience for us all.  The April concert really shifted gears.  Noel Coward and Cole Porter took us a long way from our usual fare but the audience agreed that it was worth the trip.

This Past Year

We were able to offer a scholarship award to a graduating high school senior.  This hasn't happened in a few years due to budget constraints.  This year's winner was baritone Michael Merz from Western Michigan Christian High School.  Michael will attend Calvin College in the Fall.  He was valedictorian of his class, member of the choirs, and a student athlete.  One of the requirements for getting the award is singing a solo piece or two on our Spring Concert.  He is not planning on majoring in music.  As we think of it, this is appropriate for us.  Of those of us who sang this concert, only two make their living in music.  For the rest of us, singing is a joy and a worthy use of our leisure time.  Good luck, Michael.


What people say

50th Anniversary

As we look back over 52 years now, it seems impossible that we have endured this long.  There have been ups and downs, but for the most part we have enjoyed whatever portion of that time we have spent with the choir.  The fact that there are singers who are a lot younger than the choir is a sign of health.  That membership something to which a few young people still aspire makes us need to keep going.  We started out by deciding that we would be a non-parochial organization that would seek to explore the best in choral music.  It has worked, much to some folk's amazement.  We will keep it up until we can't stand it or you can't.  We hope we know first.


Coming Up

The Wreath of Carols has become a fixture and a favorite in our programming.  We go through as many as twenty-four to twenty-six Advent/Christmas/Epiphany pieces during the course of the concert.  Usually it runs from Medieval to Twenty-first Century music.  As many as eight or nine of our soloists will be heard along with this year's special guest, guitarist Bill Brettschneider.  The audience will join us in singing well-known carols.  The concert moves from piece to piece with no applause between.  In the past we have found something like a Stravinsky Ave Maria cheek to jowl with a Renaissance motet by Josquin.  It seems to work.  When we add the solo stuff there is an incredible variety of music.  If our calculations are correct, we have done thirty-six "Wreaths" in our fifty-two years.  In the years when we don't do it, most of us feel lonely for it.  One singer even said, "It isn't Christmas for me without it."  We hope you join us and come away feeling the same way.  This will be Music Director David Wikman's last full concert with the Chamber Choir.

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