The Morris Choral Society will celebrate the winter holidays with two rousing and upbeat performances of holiday music on Friday, Dec. 9, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. The concerts will be held at the Bickford Theatre at the Morris Museum, located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown.
Called "Sounds of the Season," these eighth annual holiday spectacular concerts will open the community chorus' gala 39th season.
R. Wayne Walters of Parsippany, musical director of the Morris Choral Society, has selected an array of festive pieces, including Daniel Pinkham's "Christmas Cantata," Dietrich Buxtehude's "Fanfare & Chorus," and portions of Dave Brubeck's "La Fiesta de la Posada," as well as several traditional and contemporary holiday pieces.
Also included in the concert will be Natalie Sleeth's "Jazz Gloria," John Gardner's "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," and a lively rendition of J. Pierpont's "Jingle Bells," arranged by Kirby Shaw. The audience, who will be recruited to join in holiday caroling, can look forward to the richness of the holiday program offerings, along with a few surprises.
The "Sounds of the Season" concertsalso will feature a brass quintet to add a spark of holiday spirit to the 85-voice chorus. Quintet members include three trumpet players--Richard Distenvieri of Wantage, a music teacher in the Frankford schools; Gerald Tedesco of Andover, who is affiliated with the music department at Rutgers University; and Harold Woods of Montague, band director at High Point Regional High School; French horn player Susan Braden of Sparta, a music teacher; and Barbara Garrison of Wantage, a retired high school band director, who plays trombone.
Another highlight of the concert will be singing by members of the Brightest Star Select Chorus, the Morris Museum's children's chorus.
The Morris Choral Society, a Morris County cultural mainstay, is headed by Kenneth Donohue of Morristown, the society's president. For nearly four decades, the chorus has sung classical pieces, pop, jazz, Broadway favorites and sacred music. The community chorus has also performed with celebrities from pop/folk star Judy Collins to jazz legend Dave Brubeck, and has debuted new music written by local composers, including that of musical director R. Wayne Walters.
The Morris Choral Society was named Outstanding Arts Organization of 2007 by the Arts Council of the Morris Area. Walters, who is the founder of the Society, was named the 2002 Outstanding Professional in the Arts by the Arts Council of the Morris Area.
Funding for the Morris Choral Society is provided, in part, by the Arts Council of the Morris Area through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, Local Arts Grant Program.
Ticket prices for "Sounds of the Season" are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $15 for children under age 18. Tickets are available at the Bickford Theatre box office, 973-971-3706