Bakersfield College singers will present a musical celebration of the holidays with music ranging from the silly to the sublime, in a program at First Presbyterian Church this evening.
Directed by Ron Kean, the concert will begin with one of the jewels of the program: composer Eric Whitacre's stunning "Alleluia," which premiered in July.
Performed by the Chamber Singers, the nine-minute "Alleluia" takes its inspiration from both medieval sacred music traditions and modern use of musical modes. Soprano Caley Mayhall and baritone Edgar Sandoval are soloists.
Whitacre, who is composer-in-residence at Sydney Sussex College, Cambridge, England, will be conducting this piece as part of his concert at Carnegie Hall in March. Members of the BC choirs will be participating in that concert.
Balancing that out in the second half of the concert are the Bakersfield College Chorale singers performing Ludwig van Beethoven's "Hallelujah" from his oratorio "On the Mount of Olives."
The chorale will also perform a Christmas song from the Congo, and a traditional song from Israel, "Alvinu Malkeinu," arranged by Kean and local musician Jill Eglund.
Traditional carols are also a part of the program, including "In the Bleak Midwinter," by Gustav Holst, and settings of "O Holy Night" and "Ding Dong, Merrily on High."
The playful side of the holidays will also be celebrated with two songs, the pop song "Santa Baby," and a parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" re-written to take listeners through a hilarious history of music from medieval times to the 20th century.
The program will conclude with a performance of Kean's "Gloria" from his "An American Mass."
Proceeds from the concert will help pay expenses for the singers' participation in the Carnegie Hall concert on March 24.