College Hall hosted the New College Chorus for its year-end performance on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The nine-member choral group performed an eclectic selection of songs in the Music Room, including holiday staples like “Angels We Have Heard on High,” arranged by Pazdziora, and Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” A different member of the choir introduced each song to the audience, and explained the genre and tone of each piece.
Some selections, like “Ave Maria,” needed no introduction, while more daring choices, like Bob Chilcott’s (b. 1967) “Lullaby in Blue,” were new to the audience. Adam Reinschmidt accompanied the choir on cello during “Lullaby,” which added a touch of jazz to the evening. Sopranos Emma Kervel and Melissa Simmons comfortably dominated the playful “Laudamus Te,” a duet from Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Adjunct Professor of Piano and the New College Chorus Virginia Bray directed the choir and chose several contemporary pieces to complement the more traditional classical fare. Bray selected Z. Randall Stroope’s (b. 1953) version of the holiday classic “There is No Rose,” for instance, to close the program over the popular Benjamin Britten version. Matthew Dendy accompanied the choir on violin, which he also played during Vaughan Williams’ arrangement of “Greensleeves.” The choir, whose sound belied its size, easily balanced Dendy and Bray, who played piano while conducting Rose.
The New College Chorus:
Soprano: Emma Kervel, Melissa Simmons, Laila Kalantari
Alto: Maya Holtteza, Leanna Johnson
Tenor: Cole Schmidt, Adam Rusmisell
Bass: Adam Reinschmidt, Sullivan Boyd
Directed by Virginia Bray