KINGSFORD - The Dickinson County Community Chorus, now celebrating its 46th year, will present its annual "Sounds of Christmas" concert on Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Kingsford High School auditorium.
Tickets are available in advance at the Music Tree in Iron Mountain or at the door beginning at 6 p.m. each night. Adult tickets cost $10 and student tickets cost $5. There are no reserved seats.
Following a welcome by announcer Tom Martin, principal conductor John R. Calo will begin the program with a Christmas medley entitled "Comfort and Joy."
Dickinson County Community Chorus members rehearse for the “Sounds of Christmas.” The concert begins at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at Kingsford High School Auditorium.
Next, the chorus will perform an "Ave Maria" written by Giulio Caccini and featuring Theresa Ozzello on the flute. This piece is dedicated to three former chorus members who passed away in 2012: Frank Irish, Rosemarie Lundell, and Robert Pedo.
Associate conductor Crystal Hogan will then step to the podium to lead the group in "Breath of Heaven." This song chronicles Mary's thought process while she is carrying baby Jesus. Vocal soloist is Karen McCorkle and piano accompanist is Jean Panek.
To conclude part one of the program, Calo will return to conduct two choral selections: a traditional Irish Christmas carol entitled "Enniscorthy Carol" and an anthem called "Fall on Your Knees."
"It was performed for the first time at last year's concert," said Calo. "Many people said it was their favorite, so we decided to do it again."
A group of solos and ensembles will make up the next portion of the program.
Starting off is a duo of Dickinson County Community Chorus veterans, Kathy Marinich and Joe McKindles, singing a new arrangement of "Emmanuel." Piano accompanist is Mary Lee.
Next, Marge and Ron Yadro will perform "A Soldier's King." This selection combines modern day warfare with the coming of Jesus.
"The effect is one of sadness, the futility of war, and the loyalty of brave men," said Calo.
A group of carolers, including Tiffany Darling, Dennis Fraker, Dean Hendrickson, Joe McKindles, Kristin Novara, Jen Spreen, Boyd Thomas, and Gail Vornkahl, will sing the popular, secular sixteenth century English carol "A Merry Christmas," which is also known as "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."
After the carolers, Missy Davidson will sing the Christmas ballad "Welcome to Our World." Accompanist is Jean Panek.
Next, the mother-daughter duo of Lorna and Laurie March will perform the Chilean lullaby entitled "Dormi Jesu." Classical guitar accompanist is Thomas Niebrzydowski.
Shirley Schultz and Earl Scheidt will then provide some comic relief with their rendition of "Steppin' Out With Santa." Accompanist is Boyd Thomas.
Under the direction of assistant conductor Gail Vornkahl, the full chorus will perform "Carol of the Bells" with accompaniment by the handbell choir from Our Saviour's Lutheran Church.
Calo will then return to direct "This Christmastide" by Donald Fraser. Piano accompanist is Jean Panek.
"This charming piece has a timeless quality, reflecting all the traditional beauty of Christmas," said Calo.
Next, the chorus will perform "Shepherds' Celebration," which is a song written in the style of an Israeli dance called a horah. Violin accompanist is Susan Thornton.
Crystal Hogan will return to conduct Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Accompanists include Jean Panek on piano, Karen McCorkle on bass, and Matt Johnson on drums.
"From the delightful TV program and movie that lights up our holidays each year comes a nasty villain's theme song, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," said Calo. "This song features three shady characters, including the Grinch himself."
The program concludes with two well-known vocal pieces: Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus" and Franz Gruber's "Silent Night." The audience will be asked to join the chorus on the second and third verses of "Silent Night."
Instrumentalists performing include Theresa Ozzello on flute, Cathy Spice on oboe and English horn, Nancy DeKoster on clarinet, Miriam Edwards on cello, Susan Thornton on violin, Robin Phillips on viola, Sandy Sullivan on harp and piano, Karen McCorkle on string bass, Thomas Niebrzydowski and Ron Yadro on guitar, Matt Johnson and Wendy Welch on percussion, and Mary Lee, Boyd Thomas, and Jean Panek on piano.