Park City Singers taps into the spirit of the season | ParkRecord.com
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Park City Singers taps into the spirit of the season

Concerts feature old and new songs

The holiday season is a hot one for the Park City Singers.

It’s when audiences not only hear Christmas and other holiday songs from the past, but are also introduced to new works that become favorites as well.

The Park City Singers, a local community choir, will perform its Festival of Christmas concerts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road, and at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18, at Park City Community Church, 4501 S.R. 224..

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. They can be purchased from any of the Park City Singers and at SmithsTix.com, parkcitysingers.com and the Market at Park City, 1500 Snow Creek Drive.

Tickets can also be purchased at the door of each performance for $15.

Park City Singers Director Joe Demers said the concerts are comprised of an array of holiday pieces.

“In programing the concerts, I tried to be as well-rounded as possible,” Demers said during a Park Record interview. “I tried to choose literature that spanned from classical to pop and from sacred to secular.”

He also selected pieces that represented other cultures.

“We’re singing ‘African Noel’ and ‘Light One Candle’ that emphasizes the Jewish faith,” Demers said.

“Light One Candle,” written by Peter Yarrow of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary, is about the origins of Hanukkah.

“It tells about the persecution the Jews endured. Unfortunately, we’re dealing with the same issues in the world today,” Demers said. “It’s our finale and an opportunity to help our community become tolerant of other cultures and to embrace the message of what’s in there.”

Other works to be sung include two John Rutter pieces: “Love Came Down at Christmas” and “The Angels’ Carol.”

“We will also perform ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ and we’re taking Kay Thompson’s ‘Jingle Bells,’ the one that Andy Williams did in the 1960s, and we will put it to a choral arrangement,” Demers said.

Demers selected the music compositions back in July and took into account what the Park City Singers have performed in the past.

One of the works he looked closely at was Handel’s “Messiah.”

“Back in the spring, the Interfaith Council presented the ‘Messiah’ and the Park City Singers have performed parts of work as well,” he said. “Also, some of the Park City Singers participated in the Utah Conservatory Choral Society that performed the piece at Carnegie Hall with the Distinguished Concerts International last month, so I wanted to take that out this year because we didn’t want to overdo it.”

Instead, Demers brought in Schubert’s “Gloria.”

“We have a couple of soloists, a soprano and bass, which will perform in that,” he said.
Second soprano Renee Mox Hall said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated some music from its library to the concert.

“That also opened up some possibilities for music that haven’t been performed in the past,” she said. “We’ve been in existence for 22 years now, and you can imagine that we have repeated some of the music throughout the years.”

Still, Demers said holiday music is a genre that endures no matter how many times it’s sung, played or performed.

“The spirit of sharing with each other and giving to the community is the big thing,” he said. “This is an opportunity for some people who may be struggling with the holidays emotionally within themselves or experiences in their own homes or communities to let go of that for a while.

“They can come out and enjoy the camaraderie in the community with the music of the season,” Demers said. “Of course, we would like to do this all year long, and we can by taking that message out into the world.”

Joining the Park City Singers as the new accompanist is Ran Duam.

“She’s a doctoral student at the University of Utah and we are fortunate to secure her for the last part of the season,” Demers said. “She is defending her doctorate thesis this week, and she felt playing for us would be the distraction she needed. I think she’ll fit in really well.”

The Park City Singers will perform its Festival of Christmas concerts at 7 p.m. on
Thursday, Dec. 15, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Road., and at 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 18, at Park City Community Church, 4501 S.R. 224. Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. They can be purchased from any of the Park City Singers and at SmithsTix.com, parkcitysingers.com and the Market at Park City, 1500 Snow Creek Drive. Tickets can also be purchased at the door of each performance for $15. For more information, visit http://www.parkcitysingers.com
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