Pro Coro chamber choir revives New Year’s Eve concert

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PREVIEW
Pro Coro Canada New Year’s Eve
Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Holy Trinity Anglican Church
10037 – 84 Ave.
Tickets: Advance $30 to $35. At door $35 to $40. Call 780-420-1757 or at http://www.tixonthesquare.ca

Music is a huge part of New Year’s Eve celebrations and millions of concert-goers across the world will usher in 2018 to live music with their favourite artists.

For many New Year’s Eve is a special night where the past year is put to bed and hopes for the future shine brightly.

Pro Coro Canada has taken notice of this trend and is reviving their New Year’s Eve concert on Sunday, Dec. 31 at Holy Trinity Church.

“There used to be a New Year’s Eve concert more than 10 years ago, but things changed. We hope to make this a tradition that can fit into people’s New Year’s schedules,” said music director Michael Zaugg.

“This provides an option for people who don’t go to parties or for people who wait until midnight for fireworks. And there’s also a group of people who don’t like big crowds, but they like to be with people.”

Zaugg has selected wide-ranging repertoire from the great masters such as  Bach, Mendelssohn and Rossini to Thomas LaVoy, Joby Talbot and Eriks Esenvalds.

“We are having classical music and even a sing-along. You will be done in two hours and there is even a glass of champagne at the end. It’s a good mix,” Zaugg said.

Selecting appropriate music was a challenge.

“Once you start looking for themes of reflection, endings and new beginnings, you find a lot of music. Much of it is not written specifically for the new year, but the themes are appropriate.”

Contemporary award-winning Latvian composer Eriks Esenvald’s Stars is a stunning piece where the chamber choir’s soaring voices are accompanied by water filled glasses tuned to create certain waves of sound.

“He talks about the big sky and the stars and how human beings gaze at the stars and are in awe of space. He says, ‘I am honoured to be witness to so much majesty.'”

In another contemporary piece, Ann-Sofi Söderqvist’s What is Life creates a jazzy mood using expressive harmonies and moments of meditation.

“It asks what is life and how do we fit into the bigger question. In the heart is where we exist.”

The chamber choir steps back in time singing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, one of Bach’s best-loved works appreciated for its intellectual rigour and transcendent beauty.

Also included in the program is Mendelssohn’s dramatic For He Shall Give His Angels from the Oratorio Elijah, and a series of the early Romantic hymns.

In closing, Zaugg has also included Talbot’s Santiago from Path of Miracles, a tribute to the medieval pilgrimage Santiago de Compostella.

“With this concert you can look back and reflect on how to renew yourself – what to leave behind and what our goals are for the future.”

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About Author

Anna Borowiecki

Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.