Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,” especially when you treat yourself to one of the Wayne Choralaires Christmas concerts in Honesdale, Carbondale, and Hawley.
Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays,” especially when you treat yourself to one of the Wayne Choralaires Christmas concerts in Honesdale, Carbondale, and Hawley. This year’s program is “A Christmas Tapestry,” and it is woven of well-loved sacred and secular seasonal songs. Choralaires Christmas concerts, under the direction of Patricia Spoor, are a popular Northeastern Pennsylvania holiday tradition and a wonderful way to greet the season. Martha Curtis, who teaches at Honesdale High School, and Tim Farrand, a senior at the school, will provide most of the keyboard accompaniment. The Choralaires will surround the audience with song as they begin with the gentle “O Taste and See” by Ralph Vaughn Williams, which will feature a solo by Marissa Nacinovich. The singers will then process to the front with a majestic arrangement of the traditional “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” narrated by Leroy Spoor. Next will come a medley of popular songs, “Christmas Time Is Here,” with a solo by Valerie Hyduchak, “The Christmas Waltz,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” followed by John Rutter’s arrangement of the traditional Welsh carol “Deck the Hall.” “Home for the Holidays” is next and will include solos by Susan Ferguson and Jim Murphy. The spirited and humorous arrangement of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is sure to please, and Percy Faith’s nostalgic “Christmas Is...” will evoke memories of Christmases past. The first half of the concert will end with “Christmas on Broadway,” a medley of songs including “It’s Beginning to Look like Christmas,” “My Favorite Things,” and “We Need a Little Christmas.” There will be a variety of entertainment during intermission. Leah Schweighofer, a senior at Honesdale High School, will sing the “Alleluia” from Mozart’s “Exultate, Jubilate,” Martha Curtis and Tim Farrand will play a piano-four-hands version of “Sleigh Ride,” and Susan Ferguson will play flute on “Angels We Have Heard on High.” After intermission, the program will continue with sacred songs, beginning with Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” and Brahms’s beautiful “How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place.” Then comes the Robert Young arrangement of “There Is No Rose of Such Virtue,” based on a fifteenth-century English text, and “He Is Born,” a traditional French carol. The beloved “Silent Night” follows in a bluesy arrangement with a solo by Justin Taraschuk. John Rutter’s “Carol of the Magi” tells the story of the Three Wise Men and is followed by “Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King,” based on the spiritual “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” with solos by Betsy Black, Melanie Hansen, and Heidi Schumacher. In “Gloria Fanfare” the chorus will be accompanied on trumpets by Bob Simon and Tim Farrand. The concert with conclude with the Choralaires’ traditional Christmas ending, “Peace, Peace,” interweaving “Silent Night,” which will be signed by Ann Guida; Susan Ferguson will play flute. Concerts will be Sunday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church, 11th and Church Streets, Honesdale; Thursday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. at St. Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale; and Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2:30 at B.V.M. Queen of Peace Church, Church and Chestnut Streets, Hawley. Choralaires concerts are designed to appeal to people of all ages and reflect a wide range of musical styles. Admission is free, but free-will offerings will be gratefully accepted to help defray the costs of music.