Choir of Clare College to perform Dec. 15
Verbum caro factum est et habitavit in nobis. This Latin version of John 1:14 translates into the familiar, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” The Latin words will be the first sung by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Middlebury on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 7:30 p.m. John Sheppard’s setting of this verse from John’s Gospel is part of their program, “Mater Ora Filium, Music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.”
These 30 men and women musicians, including two organ scholars, are members of a choir founded in 1971. They sing services — chiefly Evensongs, but occasionally other services — in the Clare College Chapel, as well as concerts all over the world. Their concert at St. Stephen’s will be the fourth of five concerts on their American tour during which they will sing also in North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York.
Their program will include a number of English and European Renaissance pieces by John Sheppard, William Byrd, Giovanni Palestrina, Orlando diLasso, Jacobus Clemens non Papa, and Jean Mouton (his gorgeous “Nesciense Mater”); they’ll also sing works by Peter Cornelius, Francis Poulenc, Arnold Bax, John Rutter and Herbert Howells. There will also be arrangements of traditional Christmas music, including “I Wonder as I Wander,” and “Silent Night.”
The concert will be ticketed. Proceeds will go to the Charter House Emergency Winter Shelter for Families and Individuals. Tickets will be $10 and will be available at the church office during regular hours and online.
The choir will have dinner at St. Stephen’s before their concert. Tom Turley is leading the team that will serve this meal. Anyone who would like to help with dinner should contact him. The choir will stay in Middlebury for one night, Dec. 15. Anyone who can house one or more musicians, give them breakfast next morning and bring them to the church by 7:15 a.m. should contact Marge Drexler.
For a sample of Clare’s singing, go to www.clarecollegechoir.com.
The final music of the program is by Arnold Bax. The first line is “Mater ora filium ut post hoc exilium nobis donet gaudium beatorium omnium. Amen.” (“Mother, pray to the Son, that after this exile He may grant us the joy of all the saints. Amen.”)