Chez Nous: Christmas with Elektra (2015)

7:30pm November 28th, 2015 at Ryerson United Church

Welcome to “Our House”!

Here we are together chez nous (“at our house”) to share the music and meaning of this Christmas season together.  We are thrilled that you’ve chosen to make Elektra part of your day and hope you experience something meaningful and memorable in your time with us.  At its core, choir is about community – and as listeners you are warmly welcomed into the Elektra community.

Today’s program has been on my wish list for years, and after many times reaching out to invite jazz singer Dee Daniels to perform as our guest artist, 2015 is the year!  Dee is a captivating and multi-talented performer and songwriter and it’s a treat to bring her together with Elektra.  Dee’s presence also gave me the fabulous excuse to invite back one of Vancouver’s best jazz bassists, the incomparable Jodi Proznick.  Thank you to both of these fine musicians for joining us today.

Choral conductor Carrie Taylor is a leader among Metro Vancouver high school directors and a longstanding contributor of wonderful students to our Mira Youth Mentorship Program.  Now that she has a women’s choir at Burnaby Central, it is our distinct pleasure to welcome Carrie and the more than 40 accomplished singers in her choir to Chez Nous.

Coming “to Elektra’s house” for Christmas means many things – interesting music reaching back to the past and forward into the present day.  A cappella pieces that hang in the air of these beautiful acoustics and lighter moments of audience participation where I will invite you to sing along “with heart and soul and voice”.  Of note this year are Veni, Veni by American composer David Moore, which departs from the familiar melody of O Come, O Come Emmanuel into an entirely new composition for a cappella choir, and no fewer than three world premieres.  In our opening set, Vancouver composer Sarah Jaysmith’s Gartan Mother’s Lullaby and Bring a Torch, are delightful additions to the repertoire.  Don Macdonald’s jazzy Christmas Reverie is set right here at “41st and Vine” where a busker singing Christmas carols takes us back to special memories of Christmases past. We’re very proud to perform the Canadian premieres of two stunning arrangements by young Berlin-based singer and composer Winnie Brückner, too.  Look for them in the second half.

In addition to the Elektra solo rep and massed choir music listed below, the Burnaby Central Secondary Women’s Choir performed on its own:

Hallelu!    Stephen Paulus
Le Sommeil de l’Enfant Jésus    traditional carol, arr. Ron Jeffers
Amazing Grace     traditional words by John Newton (1725-1807), music by Stephen Hatfield
Christmas Waltz      J. Styne, arr. by P. Schmutte

And Dee Daniels and Jodi Proznick contributed solos O Holy Night (Adam, arr. Daniels),  Healed (Dee Daniels), I’m Going on Home (Dee Daniels), and My Prayer (Dee Daniels), the latter two with choir accompaniment.

Our encore was “Thou Shalt Know Him” by Mark Sirett.

ChezNous15 Concert Program

Performance Pieces:

  1. Huron Carol Canadian Work Traditional Canadian Paul Halley (arr) 
  2. Veni, Veni J. David Moore
  3. Gartan Mother’s Lullaby Canadian Work Traditional Irish Sarah Jaysmith (arr) 
  4. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Traditional French Doug Claybrook (arr) 
  5. Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella! Canadian Work Traditional French Sarah Jaysmith (arr) 
  6. Ding, Dong, Sing-a-long Canadian Work Various Timothy Corlis (arr) 
  7. Christmas Reverie Canadian Work Don Macdonald
  8. O Jesus, Sweet Child (O Jesulein Zart) Traditional German Winnie Brückner (arr) 
  9. There is No Rose Canadian Work Don Macdonald
  10. Silent Night Franz Gruber Winnie Brückner (arr) 
  11. Thou Shalt Know Him Canadian Work Mark Sirett

Canadian Work Legend Canadian Work