The Columbia Community Chorus with a twenty-member orchestra will inspire and delight audiences with their annual Sounds of the Season concert at the Opera Hall in Sonora, CA. Concerts are December 5, 6, and 7, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. This year’s program includes pieces familiar, unique and classical with ever-popular caroling with the audience and ending with Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.
Highlighted at this year’s performance will be three renditions of Mary’s Song, also known as the Magnificent. Mary sings praises to God for the gift of the Messiah she will bear. The Chorus and orchestra will present pieces from three different eras: the Renaissance version by Thomas Tallis, the Romantic version by Franz Schubert, and the Contemporary version by the new director of the chorus, Daryl Hollinger.
The new inclusion will be two pieces from the African American spiritual tradition, Walk in the Light and Go Tell it on the Mountain. In the early years of American slavery, slaves were required to attend plantation-owner church services where they learned the Christian religion. Prohibited from dancing and playing drums, many slaves would continue worship in their own style with dancing, singing and playing drums in the woods at “camp meetings.” Drums and bells follow with African Noel, Do You Hear What I Hear, and Carol of the Drum and Carol of the Bells. Contemporary favorites will include Let it Snow and It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
New to the Chorus is Daryl Hollinger, who recently joined the faculty at Columbia College. He is also Director of Music at First Congregational Church of Stockton. Dr. Hollinger recently served for 14 years as Dean of the Chapel, Seminary Musician and Adjunct Professor of Worship and Music at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. He also was Minister of Music at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, Lancaster. He directed the Ephrata Cloister Chorus for 18 years and has given concerts in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Bulgaria as well as parts of the U.S.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, $5 for children up to 12 and will be available at the Manzanita Bookstore, Mountain Book Shop, and Murphy’s Music. For information, please call 586-5965.