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Volume 5, No. 2                 2016                                  December
2016-17 Schedule

Christmas Concert: Britten’s Saint Nicolas, plus carols

with Durham Children’s Choir, Dena Byers, Conductor

Duke University Chapel
Saturday, December 10, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. and
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.

Brahms's Nänie and Kodaly's Te Deum

with Duke Chorale and Duke Medicine Orchestra
Baldwin Auditorium,
Duke University
Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Chamber Choir Concert

Schubert Serenade: A Concert of Chamber Music with Ciompi Quartet
First Presbyterian Church
Friday, April 7, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.

Berlioz’s Te Deum and Poulenc’s Gloria

with Duke Chapel Choir and Riverside High School Chorus
Duke University Chapel
Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.
Tickets will go on sale in late August at
It is not too late to donate to CSD

When choosing which non-profit organization to support this year, please consider making a tax-deductible gift to the Choral Society of Durham. Ticket sales and member dues cover only one-third of our expenses, and we need you to help us continue to bring the very best in choral music to our community. Never doubt that it is your participation, your donation, that hires the finest soloists and instrumentalists, provides free tickets to students, and offers scholarships to singers who require financial aid. For more information, click here.

Friends and Family Discount
Call the Duke Box Office at 919-684-4444 (M-F 11am-6pm) or visit Choral Society Tickets or mention the code at the Duke Box Office.
PROMO CODE for a discount: CSD1617
Our concerts are supported by the Durham Arts Council's Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.
Durham Arts Council logo
North Carolina Arts Council logo
We’re so looking forward to our Christmas program this year, and here are some of the reasons why: We’re back in the beautiful, improved Duke Chapel again, and you know Christmas concerts just aren’t quite the same anywhere else. The Durham Children’s Choir will be joining us, hooray. AND we’re performing Benjamin Britten’s completely charming and moving Saint Nicholas, the story of the Christian saint from a Turkish village who, over sixteen centuries, became not only the world’s most popular patron saint — claimed by more than 100 groups, including sailors, pawnbrokers, poets, longshoremen, lace-makers, embalmers(!) and, ta-daah, choirs — but also the chubby, red-suited fellow most often spotted in shopping malls. (Say his German name fast, three times: Sankt Nikolaus. Now you know how he got his modern moniker.)
About the music itself, you’ll learn all you need to know at the concert — from your ears and heart and also from Susie Dakin’s incomparable program notes.  For now, suffice it to say that this cantata for tenor soloist, chorus, children’s choir, strings, and percussion describes nine wondrous scenes in the gentle saint’s life, with music that varies in mood and texture from gentle nursery songs to chorale tunes to the depiction of a perilous storm at sea.
Collaborating with the Children’s Choir is a bit of a family affair for us: Until her recent retirement, it was directed by long-time CSDer Scott Hill, who, we’re happy to report, continues to sing with us and occasionally accompany us as well. And Vangie Poe, the group’s accompanist, is also an active and long-time CSD member. The talented young Children’s Choir singers, now directed by Dena Byers, will kick off the concert with some singing of their own before joining us for the Saint Nicholas. They should have a fine time with this adventuresome piece — both the music and the tales told. You’ll have a fine time, too.  See you there, we hope.
Along with the Britten, you’ll be glad to hear there will also be carols — of course! Who’d give a Christmas concert without carols?! — mostly English in origin, to go along with the Britten. Christmas carols present an interesting performance challenge, in a way: On the one hand, we cherish the comfort of their deeply familiar tunes and texts. On the other, a concert performance wants to waken the mind and stimulate attention, not lull the audience to sleep. To that end, fortunately, composers in all eras have created a rich repertoire of old carols reworked in brilliant ways. For this concert, we’re even singing one traditional carol in its more or less original form and then, halfway through, without missing a beat, switching to another, contemporary arrangement with a catchier rhythm. The two versions merge beautifully, creating a more interesting whole than either would be alone. Come listen and see if you can tell which one is this mash-up hybrid.
 We love our CSD Friends! All you lovely people who know us and our music, who come fill the hall, expectant and happy, to hear us do what we so love to do. Who loyally and generously support our ongoing efforts to perform the most beautiful music at the most professional level possible. What could top that? Nothing. Except maybe to have even more friends like you.
So here’s our plan. On March 31, we’re throwing a big, fancy dinner party at the 21C Hotel in downtown Durham. (If you haven’t visited this place yet, you’re in for a treat. It’s a unique blend of hotel and art gallery, with rotating exhibits of contemporary art on view 24 hours a day. Their chef is right up there, and the bar is very cool.) One objective is to raise some funds, of course, but we also want to reach out and make ourselves known to a new, broader community of friends and supporters. Maybe, who knows, even recruit some new singers. So, all you folks who’d love to spend a festive evening in a sophisticated setting, eat some fab food, hear a little music, bring new friends to get acquainted with us, take a shot at the silent auction — mark your calendars right now, and watch this space for more details about the upcoming bash. A stellar event, for a great cause!

Choral Society of Durham  •  120 Morris Street  •  Durham, NC 27701

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