Have a 'Classy, Brassy Christmas' with WRC

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), a community choir of 90 voices from across Northeast Ohio, invites you to enjoy "A Classy, Brassy Christmas" on Dec. 3, at 3:30 p.m., when the ensemble offers its 32nd-annual holiday concert. It will be held at the WRC’s new home, Church of the Saviour, on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. The concert is free and open to the public, with donations encouraged.

"A Classy, Brassy Christmas" will feature two longer works for chorus and brass with local, professional instrumentalists. The first, Christmas Cantata, will honor the 100th anniversary of composer Daniel Pinkham’s birth. This piece, subtitled “Sinfonia Sacra,” is a 20th-century homage to the Baroque, recalling the brilliance of the Venetian school of chorus-and-brass music, particularly as embodied in the works of Giovanni Gabrieli. As a student at Harvard, Pinkham studied with composers Aaron Copland, Archibald T. Davidson, and Walter Piston, and his compositions incorporate 20th-century approaches to music.

John Rutter’s Gloria will be the second work for brass and choir. As one of Rutter’s most ambitious concert works, the three-movement piece allows for the brass and percussion accompaniment to shine: They make quite a joyful noise in the outer movements, and are used more softly and introspectively in the middle movement.

In addition, the chorale will offer both traditional and new songs for the holidays. These include settings of “ ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas," "Ave Maria," "In the Bleak Mid-winter” and "There is No Rose."

Church of the Savior, whose sanctuary is known for its acoustics, is a historic French Gothic Revival structure, designated as a Cleveland Heights landmark in 1975. 

The church is located at 2537 Lee Road. Parking is free, in the main lot at the church and in the adjacent lot on the corner of Bradford and Lee roads. 

More information can be found at www.westernreservechorale.org.

David Gilson

David Gilson is the artistic director of the Western Reserve Chorale and the director of Chancel Choir at Church of the Saviour UMC.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 2:10 PM, 11.17.2023