Come “Home for the Holidays” and enjoy the Santa Fe Desert Chorale’s Winter Festival 2017.
The chorale’s program “Home for the Holidays” is filled with music by American composers, from Ryan Murphy, Will Todd and Eric Whitacre to Bryan Johanson, John Jacob Niles and Hugh Martin.
“Last winter, there was a lot of Nordic music, but this year the focus is on American music,” explains the Desert Chorale’s music director and conductor Joshua Habermann. “Much of the music is familiar. In keeping with the Desert Chorale’s tradition, we’ll be singing in English and Spanish.”
One of the vocal ensemble’s traditions is presenting a musical version of the O Magnum Mysterium chant, which is from the Matins of Christmas.
This winter, Habermann chose a version by Johanson, an award-winning Portland-based composer and guitarist who studied composition with Charles Jones and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom.
“I read through about 25 different “O Magnum Mysterium” pieces every year,” says Habermann. “This one is like a sound meditation on words.”
A few traditional Spanish pieces are on the program as are arrangements of traditional American carols and songs.
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale has been happily immersed in singing American music this year. The ensemble’s first commercial recording, “The Road Home,” was recorded in Dallas and will be released in February 2018. A CD launch concert is scheduled for February 13 at Cristo Rey Church in Santa Fe and features pieces spanning three centuries by composers including Morten Lauridsen, Stephen Paulus and Sydney Guillaume.
“Home for the Holidays” is presented at venues in Santa Fe and Albuquerque from December 16 through 23.