River Sings Holiday Concert at Next Stage


The 90 –voice River Singers Community Chorus is excited to announce that its annual holiday concerts will be at the newly-renovated Next Stage performance space in Putney,

n Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. Led by Mary Cay Brass, the River Singers is multi-generational chorus that performs an eclectic mix of thrilling, soulful songs from many lands.

This season's concert will open with a rousing South African blessing expressed in both song and dance. Also from the African continent, the choir's three Rwandan singers present a beautiful spiritual, Wemere, from their rich musical traditions. From the European continent, the choir will sing a joyful carol from the English West Gallery tradition from 18th century village churches. It will be accompanied by the choir's own rowdy village band of fiddles, accordion and trombone. Hail Smiling Morn, a boisterous pub carol for the dark time of year, is always an audience favorite.

Having studied and lived in the Balkans, Mary Cay Brass loves the vibrant music traditions of that region. As a consequence, audiences can always count on a set of stirring Balkan harmonies at every concert. The December concerts will feature a Sephardic love song from Bosnia, two Macedonian wedding songs and a Bulgarian love song all accompanied by accordion, fiddles, bass and percussion.

Each season, the River Singers hosts guest musicians /teachers to delve more deeply into other traditions. John Harrison, the dynamic leader of the Montpelier Gospel Choir taught the choir two African American gospel songs – Search Me Lord from the singing of the Rev. Charles Nicks and Take It To The Lord from the Birmingham Sunlights which will feature soloist Will Danforth.

Songs from the Republic of Georgia, the Jubilee Gospel tradition and a soulful Appalachian carol sing along will round out this beautiful concert.

All River Singers concerts are benefits for local and global peace efforts often through music. Funds from this concert will give scholarships to two Macedonian teens to come to a Vermont based Village Harmony camp and they will support scholarships to the Village Harmony Bosnia peace camp next summer. Admission to the concert is $15/$10 seniors and students (children under 10 free). All tickets sold at the door. For information call 802-869-4000 or see www.marycaybrass.com


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