Vancouver’s “Singing Lions,” Chor Leoni, presents its seasonal celebration, Christmas with Chor Leoni, at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church this December with a program that includes a blend of holiday classics and winter harmonies, coupled with the world premiere of A Midnight Clear from Vancouver composer and violinist Cameron Wilson.
It’s our wish that through the sound and spirit of Chor Leoni … audiences will be bathed in the light of the season, and filled with renewed love and hope for the year ahead. – Erick Lichte
“The holidays offer us a reason to gather together in light,” says Erick Lichte, artistic director of Chor Leoni. “Sometimes it’s a burst of majestic light that shimmers with merriment for all to enjoy. Other times, it’s a small flicker that offers a spark of warmth and hope in a moment of darkness. It’s our wish that through the sound and spirit of Chor Leoni, together with the enveloping acoustics and stunning setting of St. Andrew’s-Wesley United, audiences will be bathed in the light of the season, and filled with renewed love and hope for the year ahead.”
In addition to traditional Christmas carols, Christmas with Chor Leoni will feature the world premiere of Cameron Wilson’s Midnight Clear and the Canadian premiere of Ola Gjeilo’s New Year’s Carol.
Wilson’s Midnight Clear is composed in three sections and scored for Chor Leoni’s 65-voice choir, accompanied by piano, harp, acoustic guitar, percussion, and violin.
“For me, the piece is really about hope,” says Wilson. “Hope for peace despite the ravages of war and hate. Hope for love and faith for a better future for all people. This is a message that resonates with all of us more than ever before.”
Originally commissioned by San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus in 2014, in New Year’s, Carol Gjeilo, with lyricist Anthony Silvestri, “ruminated on the cyclical nature of the year.”
Returning for an encore performance this season is A Fantasy of Carols. Written by award-winning B.C. composer and Chor Leoni’s 2022 composer-in-residence Don Macdonald, the work celebrates traditional Christmas favourites, where snippets of classics weave throughout non-traditional musical settings.
In addition to Wilson on violin, Chor Leoni will be accompanied by special musical guests, including harpist Vivian Chen, pianist Tina Chang, and guitarist Keith Sinclair.
Chor Leoni presents Christmas with Chor Leoni at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church (1022 Nelson St., Vancouver) on December 15, 16 & 18. Visit chorleoni.org for tickets and information.