If you go
Performances on Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 10 and 11) at 7 p.m.
Where: Methow Valley Community Center, Twisp
Admission: By donation
Volunteer to help with decorations and set-up at volunteermethow.org
Traditional Christmas carols and popular winter tunes, classical works from the baroque to the contemporary, and music that celebrates the mood of the season are all part of Cascadia’s gift to the community in their 33rd-annual holiday concerts next Tuesday and Wednesday (Dec. 10-11).
Orchestra conductor Matt Armbrust and chorale conductor Terry Hunt have assembled an inviting, varied program with works featuring the ensembles both together and on their own.
The orchestra and chorus join forces on contemporary composer John Rutter’s ethereal arrangement of “Joy to the World.” They’ll also reprise two movements from Hunt’s own “Gloria,” both featuring vocal soloists.
The orchestra plays a swing-inspired version of “Winter Wonderland” arranged by Armbrust, and the rousing, upbeat “Trumpet Tune and Air” by baroque composer Jeremiah Clarke. A chamber choir joins the orchestra for Bach’s magnificent cantata “Wachet Auf.”
The chorale takes the stage for “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” Bing Crosby’s “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and the rhythmic, festive Hanukkah tune “Dai Diddle Dai.”
Armbrust wove together Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy” (a No. 1 hit for Nat King Cole in 1948) with “The Little Drummer Boy” and a French carol, marked by stirring, dissonant harmonies. The medley features three Liberty Bell High School soloists — juniors Camille Odell and Phoenix Doran, and freshman Lucy Tobiska Doran — backed by the orchestra.
“I like the ebb and flow of dissonant tunes that have a resolution,” Armbrust said. “It gives the players and audience more opportunities to hear more styles of music.”
Assistant chorale conductor Michael Brady directs “The Last Words of David” by 20th-century composer Randall Thompson, who’s known for his lush choral arrangements. Chorale accompanist Marcus Duke gives a jazzy, gospel feel to “This Little Light of Mine.”
The two groups perform James Taylor’s “Shower the People,” highlighting local vocal soloists folksinger Fred Cooley and jazz stylist Sarah Stephens. “I can’t think of a better sentiment when you have a roomful of people than to shower the people you love with love,” Hunt said.
The ensembles share the rousing finale “Sing Glad Tidings,” a luscious arrangement of traditional carols including “The First Noël,” “O Come, All ye Faithful,” and “Angels we Have Heard on High.”