Press Release


Monday, November 27, 2006
by Beth Sowers

Hannibal, MO-- On Thursday, December 7 at 7 p.m., the Hannibal-LaGrange College music department will present the annual Christmas Concert in the Parker Theatre on the campus of HLG. The concert will feature the music department, including a string ensemble, directed by John Ferguson; Concert Band, directed by David Corkern; Handbell Choir, directed by Dr. John Booth; and Concert Choir with guest soloist Amy Foreman, directed by Jane Griffen and accompanied by Karen Meade.

The string ensemble is made up of four members: Kathryn Schaefer, 1st violin; Cameron Beckerdite, 2nd violin; John Ferguson, viola; and Clayton Hamburg, cello. They will be performing How Great Our Joy!, a traditional German melody arranged by Gordon Schuster; O Come, All Ye Faithful, by John Francis Wade and arranged by Gordon Schuster; three choruses from Messiah, by George Frideric Handel, transcribed and edited by Graham Gastable; and Carol of the Bells, a traditional melody arranged by Gordon Schuster.

The concert band portion of the Christmas concert includes a variety of music ranging from marches to lullabies to folk music to familiar, traditional carols. They will begin with a processional march Joy to the World! by Nino Marcelli, based on Handel's famous Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come! Though the familiar tune is easily recognizable, it has all the elements of a concert march, including fanfares and cymbal crashes. An American Folk Christmas by Grant Hull is a medley of two less familiar Christmas folk songs from early Americana. Hawley Ades' arrangement of Ring Those Christmas Bells by Fisher and Levene is a happy reminder of the hustle and bustle of the season. Still, Still, Still, by James Ployhar, is a lullaby to the baby Jesus. Another processional march will follow, this one based on the French carol, Angels We Have Heard on High. The centuries old The Twelve Days of Christmas receives a unique twist in Walter C. Iacobucci's piece A Thing on the Twelve Days of Christmas when the band kicks off a Latin Rock section to this very traditional carol. A major concert band work is the result of Calvin Custer's arrangement of the traditional English carol Coventry Carol and J.S. Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring. The band ends its program with James Christensen's joyful, upbeat Season's Greetings!

The advanced handbell choir will play a variety of Christmas pieces that include very familiar hymns, new tunes not yet in hymnals, and standard works often associated with Christmas. The text of While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night is one of the most literal paraphrases of the Bible found in hymnals. It is to the Christmas tune attributed to G.F. Handel, and arranged by Cynthia Dobrinski. Another Handel tune drawn from the arioso like Comfort Ye is arranged by Kevin McChesney for bells and solo instruments. He is Born, arranged by Cynthia Dobrinski, is an anonymous French carol. A well known composer and a virtually unknown tune describe the Angels' Carol written by John Rutter and arranged by Sondra K. Tucker. The traditional carol Pat-a-Pan is arranged by Gregory M. Pysh. It is a dance-like noel that remains popular throughout France as a sung carol. One of the best known Christmas tunes that is a natural fit for handbells, Ukrainian Bell Carol, was composed by Mykolo Leontovych and arranged for bells by Hart Morris.

HLG's concert choir will be performing John Rutter's Magnificat. The Magnificat has occupied an important place in the Liturgy of the Church since around the fourth century. The canticle (a Biblical song of praise other than a Psalm) is taken from the Gospel of Luke (1:46-55) where the events of the Visitation of Mary to her cousin Elizabeth are recorded. Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the Baptist at the time, greeted Mary with the well known phrase “Blessed art thou amongst women, blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus”. Mary responded with this beautiful song of praise known as “Magnificat”.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact John Booth at 573-221-3675, ext. 227.

Contact Information

Carolyn Carpenter
Director of Public Relations