Park City Singers make a joyful noise
December 13, 2011
Each year the Park City Singers look forward to their Christmas Concerts for a couple of reasons.
One is to reconnect with people many of the members haven’t seen in a year, because in a sense, the choir serves as a community center.
"There are people I see during these three months leading up to Christmas that I don’t see other times of the year," said pianist Shelle Jennings, who has been a part of the Park City Singers since the early days in the 1990s. "It’s not as if we go anywhere. We just get involved with our own groove. So every September is like a reunion."
The other reason, of course, is the singing.
"We provide a place for folks who like to sing so they can sing," Jennings said. "Many of our people sing in church choirs and that is very enjoyable and meaningful, but sometimes singers want to do something else."
Being a Park City Singer means having a chance to work on something a little more difficult over an extended period of time, Jennings said.
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"If you’re in a church choir, you have one or two weeks to work up something, but if you’re in a community choir like this, you can have up to a couple of months to get something together," she said. "So, the repertoire can be a little more varied and a little more challenging.
"For folks who like to sing, there’s nothing we like better than a challenge," Jennings said with a laugh. "Now, whether we meet that challenge all the time is another issue."
The Park City Singers, directed by Debra Cook, will present two "Christmas Classics Celebrations." The first will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Rd., on Friday, Dec. 16. The second will be performed at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 Silver Springs Dr., on Sunday, Dec. 18. Both shows will begin at 7 p.m.
The concerts will feature a variety of holiday favorites including "The Little Drummer Boy," "Mary Did You Know," "Angels We Have Heard on High," Rutter’s "Angel Carol" and a take on "The Nutcracker Suite" by Tchaikovsky.
"The body of works we are performing are really rich this year," said Jan Zinn, a longtime singer with the choir. "The piano parts aren’t easy and the choral parts are full and edgy."
The concerts will also feature additional musicians that will enhance the performance.
Three harpists, a guitarist and keyboardist and a group of 12 children will perform with the Park City Singers.
"We’ll sing duets, trios and have solos," said singer Karen Nielsen. "It will be wonderful."
Christmas music is a great way to introduce people to choirs, Jennings said.
"People enjoy music that they know, because it’s easy to listen to," she said. "There are a few folks that love contemporary works that have been commissioned for special occasions, but a lot of people like music that is familiar to them."
Still, the choir knows that too much repetition, especially during an annual show, is a good way for people to lose interest in the performance.
"Our board selects the repertoire and the choices are superb this year," Jennings said. "We like to find ones that are a little unusual where the harmonies and tempos are different and the settings are striking.
"This year I’m particularly impressed at what we’ve come up with and hope people will come see and hear what it’s all about, because we’re a choir of volunteers," she said.
Park City Singers will present "Christmas Classics Celebration" at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Rd., on Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. An additional performance will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4595 Silver Springs Dr., on Sunday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children younger than 10. Tickets are available at Smith’s Marketplace at Kimball Junction, The Market at Park City and Cole Sports.