by Ned Hayes
Carols often become the background mutter of the holidays – old tunes covered by bored pop stars. Yet the joy of hearing a professional group of singers deliver Christmas standards in the original intended choir format is a surprisingly fresh and enlivening experience. In the skyscape of sound, the sopranos hit the heavens, the altos soar over treetops, the tenors dip in and out of the overstory and the reverberations of baritones and bass reverberate like an earthquake in the deeps.
When delivered on key and in harmony, the human voice has the power of profound enchantment. The Capital City Chorus brings just such an enchanting holiday experience to their second annual Christmas Concert on Dec 13, 14 and 15.
Capital City Chorus was established last year by Dan Colgan, vocal instructor at Centralia College and music director at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. “I am truly humbled and very honored to direct a group of such talented people. The choir you will hear is made up of singers from multiple walks of life, all with varied pasts, jobs, families, faiths, dreams, and identities,” says Colgan. “We come together weekly for a common purpose; to make music, make new friends, and create a choral sound… something which cannot exist with only one person. By doing so, we endeavor the holiday spirit to be refreshed within you, in whatever form that may take.”
This year’s holiday concert will also feature the debut of the Chorus’s new women’s ensemble, led by long-time Olympia choir director and Centralia College choir professor Vicki Jardine-Tobin. The concert will include two unique pieces by local Olympia composers, including a new Kenneth DeJong setting of O magnum mysterium, a classic Gregorian chant from the Matins of Christmas. Oboist Karen Gheorghiu will accompany the Chorus on several pieces.
Capital City Chorus concerts always offer free admission, with all donations going to a local charity. “We believe that our music should be for anyone who wants to hear it, which is why we’ll never have an admission charge or sell tickets for our concerts,” explains Colgan. “It’s our hope that this program will be enjoyable to audiences, providing a memorable night of holiday cheer!”
Colgan formed the Capital City Chorus with a core group of volunteers after Olympia Choral Society, led by Terry Shaw, ceased performances in 2017. Today, the Capital City Chorus numbers over 90 singers in two ensembles.
WHAT: Christmas with the Chorus, holiday concert by The Capital City Chorus
WHERE: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (1515 Harrison Ave NW, 98502)
WHEN: December 13th and 14th at 7:30 p.m., and December 15th at 2:30 p.m.
HOW MUCH: free
LEARN MORE: CCCOlympia.org