Carl A. Bingle, the self-described old man of Northern Choral Society, sought a big sound for this years holiday concert.
Our charter for Northern Choral, our mission statement, is that we are trying to keep the big sacred works alive, he said.
He gets some help this year from Mozart and Beethoven.
One of the concerts two big works for choir, organ and orchestra is Mozarts Vesperae Solennes de Confessore.
This is a young Mozart piece, Mr. Bingle said. Its full of power, might and majesty.
The approximately 70-member Northern Choral Society along with orchestra will present its 58th annual Christmas concert Saturday and next Sunday at Asbury United Methodist Church, 327 Franklin St. Returning after a three-year hiatus is the childrens choir. The River Ringers Community Handbell Choir will also perform.
Sara D. Gleason, vocal and general music teacher at Copenhagen Central School, returns for the third year as Northern Choral director.
Mr. Bingle, longtime organist for Northern Choral Society and First Presbyterian Church, said Mozart (1756-91) was 24 when he composed Vesperae Solennes de Confessore (Solemn Vespers for the Feast of a Confessor).
Even though the piece is not as familiar as some of Mozarts other choral pieces, including the unfinished Requiem that would be his final work, Mr. Bingle said it is still momentous.
Its just a beautiful work to sing in the afternoon or evening, and thats why its called a vespers, he said. Even though its a young Mozart work, its a major work.
The selection will be sung in Latin, with a translation printed in the program. It consists of five Psalms and a Magnificat, which is a hymn of praise to Mary.
They have to be sung big and powerful, Mr. Bingle said. They are telling the story of what the world will be like when the Messiah is here. Its Old Testament, but it is previewing the birth of Christ and Jesus on Earth.
Mr. Bingle, Mrs. Gleason and Northern Choral Society president David Elmer gathered at First Presbyterian Church in mid-November to go over the concerts particulars. Mrs. Gleason was looking forward to moving rehearsals from First Presbyterian to Asbury United Methodist, starting last Sunday.
Were still in the learning stages, but now that were moving over to Asbury, I hope to get more of the whole approach so we can sing each movement and get more of the interpretation, she said.
Its got a lot of power in the first four movements, Mr. Bingle said. But every one of them has a softer section. They all have a bit of contrast in them.
The other major work Northern Choral is preparing is Beethovens 9th Symphony, 4th movement, with the famous chorale finale of universal brotherhood.
Both works will feature the same soloists featured in Northern Choral Societys 2010 Messiah concert: Megan (Taylor) Weikleenget, a soprano from Buffalo; mezzo-soprano Evgeniya A. Krachmarova-Sotirov of Watertown; baritone Matthew Royal, a native of Tappan, Rockland County, and tenor Robert Soricelli of Potsdam.
The choir will also perform One Gift, by Glen Rudolph and The Shepherds Farewell from the oratorio The Childhood of Christ by Hector Berlioz.
The 13-member Northern Choral Society childrens choir, directed by Corinne Dartnell, vocal music teacher at General Brown Junior/Senior High School, will present four pieces: For Unto Us a Child is Born, Advent Carol, Calypso Lullaby and John Rutters Star Carol, to be performed with the adult choir and orchestra.
Mrs. Gleason, a former director of the childrens choir, said its important to keep it going.
Its something we need in our community, she said. Its the only one in our community, aside from the school choirs. Especially for the home-schooled kids, this is it for them.
Its also an excellent feeder for our adult choir, said Mr. Elmer.
The River Ringers Community Handbell Choir is under the direction of Jennifer M. Whitenack. Mr. Bingle said Northern Choral Societys board of directors and members of the public requested the return of the River Ringers, which was founded in 2006. It performed with Northern Choral last year in its first collaboration with the group.
The River Ringers will perform three pieces: He is Born, Lo! How a Rose Eer Blooming and Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy.
The program will also include three sing-along carols.
Mrs. Gleason also directs the concerts 18-piece orchestra.