Camerata Nova (Dan Menheer)
Imagine you're in a great English cathedral at Christmas time, the glorious sounds of traditional English carols reverberating up to the rafters. That's the idea of Camerata Nova's next offering, Sir Christemas.
Ross Brownlee conducts the performances. And English music is definitely in his blood.
Many, many years ago I spent my Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday nights, plus Saturday and Sunday mornings down at All Saints Church. I was a choirboy in their Men and Boys Choir. It was serious business! We worked and played hard and, in retrospect, made quite amazing music. A favourite time was Christmas.
It started with an Advent Procession Service. The church was always packed. There were candles, it was dark, we had enormous anticipation and we sang fabulous music from the King's College tradition. It was nothing short of magic for us awkward little boys who happened to be quite good at singing.
Now, fast forward... I've been to England four times singing this wonderful music in the great Cathedrals of that country. I learned to conduct, and now have the great privilege of standing in front of Camerata Nova and directing this fearless choir. Each Christmas, we choose a style of music for our annual performance; this year it's the music of the English Cathedrals!
In many ways, my experience has come full circle. I now conduct one of my favourite pieces, "Lullay My Liking" by Gustav Holst, with Camerata Nova, the Winnipeg Boys Choir and Mike McKay on the Organ. I'll never forget singing one of its soaring soprano solos back in All Saints! With luck, our next set of young choristers will find some of the magic we found in years past.
Ross Brownlee conducts Camerata Nova's presentation of Sir Christemas Saturday, Nov. 26 at 8:00 p.am. and Sunday, Nov. 27 at 2:00 p.m. at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church. They'll be joined by the Winnipeg Boys Choir. Admission is free.
Ross Brownlee (Dan Menheer)
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