The choirs at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison, under the direction of Dr. Anne Matlack, are preparing for special choral services of the season.
On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, music begins at 4 p.m. for the 4:30 p.m. Church School Nativity Pageant and communion service. Costumed children present the Nativity Pageant while the 60-voice youth choirs lead the music. The pageant will feature a performance of Benjamin Britten’s "Ceremony of Carols" with the treble choirs and Andre Tarantiles on harp.
The Gargoyles (teen boys) will sing "The Boar’s Head Carol" and Saint-Saens’ "Tollite Hostias." A children’s bell choir will ring the prelude.
A 10 p.m. candlelight concert of carols precedes the traditional 10:30 p.m. “Midnight” Mass. A choir of adults, older children and returning college students, and a bell choir, lead the beautiful service featuring works by Mathias, Rutter, Mealor, Victoria, Willcocks, with many soloists. “Silent Night” by candlelight concludes the service.
Christmas morning at 10:30 a.m. is a family-friendly service of carols and communion led by children and adults. Childen can bring a favorite gift to bless Choir carols include “Once in Royal David’s City,” “I Saw Three Ships”, ” “Go Tell it on the Mountain” “The Holly and the Ivy,” Holst’s “Christmas Day” and more.
At 10 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 29, the choirs present a traditional Nine Lessons and Carols service. The community is welcome at all of these services. More information can be found at www.gracemadison.org or by calling 973-377-0106.
Dr. Anne Matlack holds degrees from Yale and Cincinnati Conservatory and conducts the award-winning Harmonium Choral Society, www.harmonium.org.