Pacific Chorale unwraps its delightful signature holiday programming with two performances of “Carols by Candlelight,” an intimate concert offering timeless traditional and contemporary seasonal music. Special musical guests organist Jung-A Lee and pianist David Clemensen join members of Pacific Chorale, bathed in flickering candlelight, for this distinctive and memorable program on Saturday, December 2, and Wednesday, December 6, 2023, 8:00 pm, in the hushed sanctuary of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Newport Beach. Artistic Director Robert Istad conducts Taylor Scott Davis’ Solstice, reflecting on the quiet of winter; Bob Chilcott’s powerful Dona Nobis Pacem; Herbert Howells’ enduring A Spotless Rose; and a moving arrangement of Angels We Have Heard On High by Benjamin Harlan.
Among other featured works are Will Todd’s tranquil carol Softly, capturing the peace and spirit of the season; Ola Gjeilo’s The Rose, in which Christina's Rossetti's mysterious poem is wrapped in soaring vocal lines; Nico Muhly’s Magnificat from First Service; and Peter Phillips’ joyful Christmas motet O Beatum et Sacrosanctum Diem.
Istad leads three audience sing-alongs as well, including The First Nowell, O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Silent Night. In a nod to the year ahead, the choir also performs Desmond Early’s graceful arrangement of Auld Lang Syne, set to the instantly recognizable Scottish melody.
“Carols by Candlelight,” the first of two holiday offerings presented by Pacific Chorale in December, is followed by “Tis the Season!”, a family-friendly program replete with festive carols, holiday favorites and even a visit from Santa Claus, on December 17 and 18, at the Reneé and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa.
Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church, 2100 Mar Vista Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. For tickets to “Carols by Candlelight” ($25 - $80) and information, visit www.pacificchorale.org or call 714-662-2345.