This December, Portsmouth Pro Musica, under the artistic direction of Priscilla Stevens French, will bring the joy of the holiday season to the seacoast with a festive program of “Christmas Music for Voices and Brass.” The program, kicking off the group’s 35th season, features a range of music, both sacred and secular, spanning nearly 400 years.
Selections include Heinrich Schutz’s Psalm 100 and Pater Noster, Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Canata, John Rutter’s Candlelight Carol, several choruses from Handel’s Messiah, and arrangements of Christmas favorites O Tannenbaum and Ding! Dong! Merrily on High.
The 50+ voices of the choir will be joined on many of the selections by the Portsmouth Brass Quartet. The Christmas Canata was specifically written for choir and brass. The brass will also perform the second choir portion of Schutz’s Psalm 100 which was originally written for double (or echo) chorus. The effect should be especially impressive in the exceptional acoustics of Dover’s St. Mary’s Church.
The group will also be joined by noted soloist and choral conductor Daniel Roihl, the music director for the Granite State Choral Society and the Nashua Choral Society. Mr. Roihl will give audiences a rare opportunity to hear counter-tenor solos in the Christmas Canata and “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion” from Messiah.
Along with PPM and the brass quartet, the concert will also feature a cappella renditions of favorite carols with a toe-tapping twist from the Overtones.