The Wichita Chamber Chorale is opening its 36th season this weekend with a Christmastime concert that will include old favorites and new arrangements for choir, brass, and organ. The annual Sounding Joy event has emerged as a popular yuletide community celebration. Organizers say this years theme, Trumpets sound and angels sing, is a homage to the soul of the season.
Sounding joy is what Christmas is about, said Chamber Chorale Board President Anna Uhlig. From the musicians point of view, we take the joy, and the hope, and the anticipation of the birth of Jesus along with the special feeling of hope that comes from so many of our hearts at this time of year for a better world and we put that into song. We do that in a way that maybe cant be expressed in just simple words or simple music.
Uhlig said that this years theme also is a reference to the involvement of the Wichita Brass Quartet, a group of faculty members from Wichita State Universitys School of Music. Their sounds add in a glorious, festive tone, she said. Also augmenting the programs is the talent and vision of Friends Universitys Dr. Mark Bartel. He serves as the Chorales artistic director and conductor. Uhlig said that many people come just to experience the flavor he adds to the event.
Its exceptional music with word and note, she said of the program. That gives us a unique spot. We take you all through different aspects of the Christmas advent season with music from all over the world and all over the time periods. There are lots of different styles well perform. We have folk music, music from the church, more English sounding music, and very melodic sounds, too. We have a very wide repertoire.
Audiences can expect a mix of lively holiday cheer with favorites like Jingle Bells and Go Tell It on the Mountain along with more solemn and reflective moments. The first part will largely feature classical pieces, with popular and contemporary numbers being done in the latter half. The program runs about an hour and a half with a short intermission.
Uhlig noted that one of the exceptional components of Sounding Joy is that most of the performers are music educators of some sort. Sharing their art in this way is a gift of sorts to the community.
Theres just something special about Christmas music that musicians and composers have always aimed to beautifully capture. For us, its that unique sound of voices and instruments together. We try to make our music very accessible. We are intent on making music that anyone can enjoy. If you dont care for one piece, youll love the next one.