ICC Presents “Christmas with the Philharmonic Chorale” December 6

The Philharmonic Chorale, a local community choral group in-residence at Illinois Central College, will present its annual holiday concert, Christmas with the Philharmonic Chorale, on Sunday, December 6, at 3 pm, in the Performing Arts Center on the ICC East Peoria Campus.

The group is directed by J. Michael Morris and accompanied by Carol Spayer.

All of the music for the concert this year relies totally on exciting works written by contemporary composers. In this unusual programming, one can expect to hear traditional pieces – such as O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and Midnight Clear – with a slightly more dissonant flavor. Most of the selections will be enhanced by brass, percussion and string accompaniment.

The concert opens with an exuberant Gloria Fanfare by Jeffery Ames, a piece filled with excitement and joy as it celebrates the birth of Christ. It continues with the quietly beautiful O Magnum Mysterium, written by Morten Lauridsen, which professes the humble adoration and profound inner joy experienced by the simple onlookers at the manger. Also included in this opening section is a familiar 14th century German tune, Personent Hodie.

The Chorale, joined by brass and percussion, continues with a rousing and challenging work by Kevin Memley entitled Magnificat. This magnificent composition is divided into three distinct movements – the first and third being lively and fast-paced, and the middle one being slow and expressive. The intricate and resounding “Amen” at the end will leave the audience breathless.

In the final two sections of the concert, the chorale performs several well-known carols arranged in superb contemporary settings – but ones that listeners will certainly recognize. These include: Angels From the Realms of Glory, What Child Is This, Good Christian Friends, Rejoice and Go Tell It on the Mountain.

A reception will take place in the studio theatre of the Performing Arts Center immediately following the concert.

Tickets cost $12 for the general public and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be purchased online at ArtsAtICC.com or by calling (309) 694-5136.