The Hartford Chorale’s 2019 Christmas in the Americas concert is a multi-cultural celebration of a holiday marked by good will, gift-giving, and boundless cheer. Included will be music from North, Central, and South America, including the Caribbean. Joining the 140-voice chorus will be a three-member percussion ensemble, plus harp, piano, and organ, making full use of the historic and thrilling Austin pipe organ at Immanuel Congregational Church.
Celestial plainchant from Toronto will be neatly juxtaposed with West Indian calypso. Boisterous music of the United States’ “first” composer (and hide-tanner) William Billings of Boston will challenge the unearthly sounds of Connecticut’s best-known and highly captivating composer, Charles Ives. Carols and songs from Appalachia, Colombia, San Juan, Mexico, Venezuela, and many other points north and south will dazzle, along with a new work dedicated to the Chorale just for the occasion. A bountiful array of languages, including Latin, Spanish, Catalan, and English, will provide sparkle and spice.
Designed as a musical feast for families and for all ages, Christmas in the Americas promises to set senses ablaze. Its finale, “A Christmas Garland” by Conrad Susa, brings all of the forces together in a medley of carols and folk songs, with instruments, chorus, and audience joining in sing-along fashion, everyone rollicking through well-known favorites and joyfully raising the roof.