The holiday season is magic for the Park City Singers
December 12, 2014
The Park City Singers will do a lot of singing next week when it presents its annual Christmas concerts.
The performances will be held Sunday, Dec. 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 15 and 16, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, said Nancy Hewitt, who, along with Marty Statten, is co-president of the Park City Singers.
The concerts have become a staple in the community over the past 19 years for many of the Park City Singers’ fans and followers.
"Many of our audience members have come year after year," Hewitt said during an interview with The Park Record. "I get emails asking us when our concerts will be because these people have made a tradition out of coming to our shows."
Monday’s concert will feature guest Salt Lake Vocal Artists, a choir that is part of a bigger organization called the Salt Lake Choral Artists, directed by Dr. Brady Allred, Hewitt explained.
"We’re doing a collaboration with them that night and we did something like that with them last year," she said. "We had so much fun doing it and the audience liked it, so we decided to do it again."
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During the performances with the Salt Lake Vocal Artists, the Park City Singers will perform Vivaldi’s "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," "Silent Night" and "O, Holy Night," which is director Debra Cook’s stand-out piece, according to Hewitt.
"She has the solo and I’ve seen people in the audience cry when she sings because it’s so beautiful," Hewitt said.
Other selections on the program will include a segment by the Vocal Artists and the whole group performing "The Christmas Waltz," made famous by Frank Sinatra in 1954, and Mel Torme’s "The Christmas Song."
"We will also sing interesting arrangements of ‘The First Noel’ and ‘Do You Hear What I Hear’ and ‘Glory of the Lord’ from Handel’s ‘The Messiah’ with the Salt Lake Vocal Artists," Hewitt said. "Some of these have been tough for us, but we’re doing pretty well."
The Sunday and Tuesday concerts without the Salt Lake Vocal Artists will feature ensemble performances, Hewitt said.
"We will have a duet, a sextet and a quartet form our singers who will perform," she said.
The Park City Singers begin planning the Christmas concerts at the end of the summer.
"We met with our conductor Debra in August to select the music," Hewitt said. "We have a music library and we look through it every year.
"We try to mix things up," she said. "We like to perform secular holiday songs like ‘Frosty the Snowman’ and traditional pieces like ‘The First Noel.’"
The group will also perform ‘Wake Up Little Bethlehem Town,’ which is very much a gospel song, according to Hewitt.
"One of our singers, Gloria Edwards, will sing the solo in that song and she had the voice for it," Hewitt said. "She’s been singing with us for quite a while."
This year, the Park City Singers received some extra funding from the RAP tax and another donation, which allowed the organization to purchase some new music.
"That’s exciting for us because we do sing some of the same pieces year after year and do get tired of them, so we’ll be performing three new pieces this year," Hewitt said.
Rehearsals began in September and the Park City Singers have been in the holiday spirit since then.
"Sometimes we complain about holiday music on the radio too soon, but we start singing it in September, way before Halloween," Hewitt said, laughing.
The Park City Singers, which averages 50 members during the winter, have made a name for themselves over a nearly 20-year run, and that’s impressive because it’s a non-audition community choir.
"Just because we’re not a professional choir means we just sing the easy stuff," Hewitt said. "Debra doesn’t settle for that.
"While she knows our limitations, she liked to push us, and that’s what we like about her," Hewitt said. "We don’t just rehearse with her. She shares her incredible knowledge of music and teaches us so much every time we’re with her."
Hewitt feels lucky to be involved with the Park City Singers, especially during the holidays.
"I love that these concerts feel part of the holiday season in Park City," she said. "We love that we have a dedicated audience, and I love performing for our community."
The Park City Singers will present their holiday concerts on Sunday, Dec. 14, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 4596 Silver Springs Rd., and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 15 and 16, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1505 White Pine Canyon Rd. All concerts will begin at 7 p.m. $12 for adults and $5 for children on line at parkcitysingers.com. Tickets will be $13 and $6 at the door.
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