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Christmas Oratorio Concert Sun. at Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church

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Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria and seasonal carols will be presented by the 55-voice Oratorio Choir and soloists of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 9 at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m.     The Oratorio Choir, accompanied by a chamber orchestra and organ, will be directed by Mary Lou Stevens, Minister of Music. Kathy McNeil of Morristown will be the organist for the performances. The church is located at One East Oak Street in Basking Ridge and the entire community is invited.


The church’s Knox Bell Choir of 13 ringers, directed by Linda Langstaff, will also play several Christmas selections.   Soloists for the Gloria will be mezzos Nancy Nelson DiSisto and Evelyn Drake of Bernardsville, sopranos Karen Johnson of Mendham, Jeanne Poehner of Bernardsville, and Melinda Fritz Porter of Chester.   Soloists in the seasonal carols will include Nancy Deutsch of Bernardsville, Butch Cooper and Jeff Schaub of Basking Ridge, and Tom Porter of Chester.


Vivaldi’s Gloria, written circa 1715, sets the words of the Gloria from the traditional Latin Mass.  This text begins with the biblical announcement of the birth of Christ sung by the angels to the shepherds in Luke 2:14 and extends into a wonderful hymn of praise.  Vivaldi composed the work in 12 movements with soprano and alto solos and duets in addition to magnificent choruses, all accompanied by string orchestra and organ.


Seasonal carols to be performed in include “Mary Had a Baby” arranged by Dawson, “I Saw Three Ships” arranged by Andrew Carter, “A Celtic Silent Night” arranged by Tierney, and “Three Kings of Orient” and “O Holy Night” both arranged by John Rutter.


No ticket is needed for this performance.  A free-will offering will be taken to further the ministry of music to the church and community.  Baby-sitting will be available for pre-school children during the 4:00 p.m. performance.  A reception for all attending will follow the 6:30 p.m. performance.   

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