Silver Bells is the theme as the Chorale, accompanied by pianist Clint Gawthrop, now in his 10th year, opens its silver anniversary concert season. Performances will be given on Saturday, December 7, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 8, at 2:00 pm. We are also celebrating the return to the directorship of Jean-Marie Kent, who was on the podium from 2008 to 2010 when we turned 20.
The first half of the program will be a presentation of John Rutter’s magnificent Magnificat with soprano soloist Ellen Pepin. The Chorale first performed this work in 1991 shortly after its publication in 1990 under then-music director Donald Austin, with Mary Bass as soloist. After intermission the bells really begin to chime featuring the solo handbell expertise of Nancy Kirkner. She will accompany the Chorale in Derrick Hakes’ arrangement of What Sweeter Music, Neil Harmon’s I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and Joel Raney’s Christmas is Coming. Ms. Kirkner will also be joined by pianist Janet Anderson in Percy Grainger’s The Sussex Mummers’ Christmas Carol and Sing a Song of Bethlehem to the hymn tune Kingsfold arranged by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Additional selections with Ms. Kirkner and Ms. Anderson are still in the planning stage.
Nancy Kirkner, solo English handbells, is one of only a few actively performing concert handbell soloists in the country. She has appeared in concert with Janet Anderson at Seattle Symphony’s Day of Music at Benaroya Hall, Seattle Art Museum, Asian Art Museum, Frye Museum, Seattle Public Library, and numerous other venues.
Janet Anderson, piano, grew up in Kent, Ohio, and studied music and philosophy at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Since moving to Seattle in 1992, she has been active in both performance and composition, with a particular interest in chamber music and art song. Her compositions have appeared on the Ladies Musical Club series and on KING-fm.
Ellen Pepin holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington. She has taught choir and general music to grades pre-K through 12 in a number of schools and youth music programs throughout the greater Seattle area (and also served a short stint as a trumpet teacher at band camp!). While teaching music is no longer her day job, she remains active in Seattle's music community, performing with Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble and soloing with various churches and community choirs.
The performance venue is Magnolia Lutheran Church, 2414 31st Ave W., in Seattle’s Magnolia District. Tickets may be purchased from Leroux Fine Apparel, Magnolia’s Bookstore, www.brownpapertickets.com, or from Chorale members. Adult tickets are $10.00 purchased in advance or $12.00 at the door. Children are free.
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