Singers of St. Michael's in Lessons and Carols

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BRATTLEBORO — On Sunday, 4 p.m., at St. Michael's Episcopal, corner of Bradley Ave and Putney Road, Music Director Susan Dedell will lead the Singers of St. Michael's in a transporting service of Lessons and Carols. Featuring the music of Christine Donkin, Joan Weir, Will Todd, Cecilia McDowall, and Morten Lauridsen, the Service of Lessons and Carols is a yearly tradition that began at Kings College in Cambridge, England as a more imaginative way of telling the Christmas narrative. "The fantastic music for this afternoon's program is quite radically innovative in a variety of ways," said Dedell.

Christine Donkin's mystical "Magnificat" is written for a solo soprano cantor, surrounded by 10 different individual high voice singers. The effect that is produced is totally unusual, and very effective.

Joan Weir also offers an innovative compositional approach. Using a short poem by William Blake, she creates a short repeating pattern — a musical "mantra" that is called the Ground.

The Ground is then surrounded by voices doing their dance of pitches and rhythms, until — all returns once again to only the Ground.

"I love the work that Will Todd is doing," comments Dedell. "He is a fabulous musician who also has an uncanny ear for relatively simple and transporting melodies. What I find fascinating about his work is that his background as a jazz musician blends so seamlessly with this rather transcendent choral sound."

Cecilia McDowall is another contemporary British composer, whose music constantly tweaks the ear with her range of spicy rhythms and colours. And lastly, rounding out the program,

Dedell returns once again to the writing of Morten Lauridsen. Dedell said, "I don't know of many composers who move my heart the way Lauridsen does. And heart-moving is definitely what I hope is the experience for everyone at this beautiful event."

In addition to the music, there are readings, and hymns and carols. The afternoon is free of charge, but a free will-offering will be taken to support the work of Groundworks Collaborative.

For further information, contact 802-254-6048.




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