Stella Maris Choir, directed by Trudi Stammer (left), presents its concert Proclaim Christmas this Sunday (Dec. 15, 3 p.m.) at Good Shepherd Church. Contributed photo

Stella Maris’ ‘Proclaim Christmas’ concert this Sunday in South Surrey

Program blends ancient music, contemporary compositions and traditional favourites

The Stella Maris Choir’s Christmas concert takes place this Sunday (Dec. 15) at 3 p.m. at Good Shepherd Church, 2250 150 St.

This year’s concert – the choir’s 19th annual presentation, led by the church’s dedicated and inspirational musical director Trudi Stammer – is titled Proclaim Christmas.

“The music selected this year, we hope, pays homage to the true meaning of Christmas,” Stammer said.

“Since the first Christmas concert (in December of 2000) the choir has grown both in numbers and maturity in music they undertake to sing,” she added.

The choir presents a minimum of three concerts per year, including a Remembrance concert (the most recent was held just last month).

“But the Christmas concert is always the favourite,” Stammer said, adding that this year’s concert also features accompanists Johann Meyer (trumpet), Josef Lindel (cello) and Geneviene Wong (piano).

“We try to keep our music joyful, yet reflecting the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and the wish for peace on earth to all peoples of good will.”

Amongst pieces chosen this year are two by contemporary Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo – Spotless Rose and The Ground from his Sunrise mass.

“That one is a Gloria celebration as well as having an ending of Dona Nobis Pacem – give us peace – a fitting request for this time,” she noted.

Also featured will be All is Well, by Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick, arranged by Joseph Graham; and Of the Father’s Love Begotten – a translation from the Divinum Mysterium, a 13th century plainsong arranged by Paul Wohlgemuth.

“It starts out with the plainsong (unaccompanied unison employing medieval modes) then breaks into four-part harmony,” Stammer explained.

The choir will also traverse more familiar territory with Carol of the Drum, arranged by Katherine K. Davis; Shout the News, by Jay Althouse; Go Tell It On The Mountain, in a choral setting by Jack Schrader; Sweet Songs of Christmas by Chris Dedrick; a special version of Silent Night inviting audience participation and a rousing rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus by Handel.

Tickets (available at the door) are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students (family rate $25 for two adults and one or more children).

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