Oregon Repertory Singers presents
Glory of Christmas 2018
4pm, December 2 & 9, 2018
7:30pm, December 7, 2018
First United Methodist Church
Welcome to ORS’s 2018 edition of Glory of Christmas! As this is an important anniversary year for ORS, I have chosen to repeat several of the greatest choral pieces that have been highlights and audience favorites in our history as well as some of our most popular Christmas carol arrangements. Each piece will be announced from the stage so, with these notes, I will speak more to how this concert program reflects the musical priorities that ORS has upheld for 45 years.
Oregon Repertory Singers has a dual mission of championing the greatest new works for choir as well as preserving the masterworks of the past. In recent years we have presented the Portland premiere performances of works by many living composers including Morten Lauridsen’s Prayer and Ya Eres Mia, Ēriks Ešenvalds’s Passion and Resurrection, and Rodion Shchedrin’s Sealed Angel. We have also presented the first Portland performances in decades of Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.
In the 1990s and 2000s, ORS also produced some of the first American recordings of music by Arvo Pärt and Sergei Rachmaninoff, some of which you will hear in these concerts! And this year marks our first professional recording in over a decade: Shadows on the Stars – Music of Morten Lauridsen and Pacific Northwest Composers. The album includes numerous world premiere recordings of great local composers, some of whom are also featured on our concert program.
All of us at Oregon Repertory Singers know that none of this would be possible without such a large and supportive audience. Thank you for supporting us, and I hope this program triggers as many happy memories for you as it does for us. Happy Holidays!
Program notes by Ethan Sperry