In December our Choral Atlas poses the question, “where is the Holy Land?” The obvious answer is set in the Near East, as described by Virgil Thomson “Scenes from the Holy Infancy.” The specific site of Christ’s birth, Bethlehem, is described in carols by a Briton, Peter Warlock, and the American composer, Paul Nelson, while the journey to the stable, undertaken by the Three Magi is depicted in motets from different time periods: Orlandus Lassus from the Renaissance, Peter Cornelius in 19th century Germany, and Healey Willan, the dean of Canadian composers, who died in 1968. But the term, “Holy Land,” also invites a wider interpretation: is there a limit to where holiness may be found? For Edmund Walters, the Scottish island of Iona presents a spiritual oasis, while William James imagined how the Christmas story might be relocated in the Australian bush. And finally, a new work commissioned from Kerensa Briggs (music) and Charles Anthony Silvestri (text) suggests that wherever we seek the Holy Child, that too is sacred ground. The Chamber Chorus will be honored to welcome in person both Briggs and Silvestri at this world premiere.
Join the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus for “The Holy Land” Sunday, December 17 @3 pm Second Presbyterian Church, CWE. Parking is free. For more information about the concert and tickets please call 636-458-4343