By Lois Van Buren
Upon joining the Santa Cruz Chorale, new members are given a handbook which includes a page of obligations each is expected to meet in order to maintain the group’s high standard of excellence. For the most part, these expectations are quite reasonable – be on time, attend regularly, know your part, pay your dues, etc. There is one goal, however, that I balked at when I first saw it. Chorale members are asked to sell six tickets for every performance. “What?” I thought in shock. “Per set? I can’t do that. I’m no saleslady. Who except myself, my fellow singers, and the families they probably coerce into attending wants to hear a bunch of old songs sung in a language that hasn’t been taught in public schools since 1966?”
Oh, the things we tell ourselves to get out of doing something, and oh, how wrong I was.
After several friends complied with my sheepishly reluctant requests to come hear me sing (my family members had already been threatened), I learned they were – with alacrity no less – becoming subscribers and inviting their friends to attend performances. Why?
The answers they willingly repeated as they returned each season became more and more true and more and more why the Chorale continues to perform and why you, our audience, continue to come and listen.
How often these days do you hear joyous songs of praise as in this Christmas concert’s opening piece, Hosanna to the Son of David by Orlando Gibbons? Where else other than Holy Cross Church can you hear music that settles into your heart and soul as Lauridsen’s O Magnum Mysterium does? Will Monteverdi’s Magnificat fill the sanctuary and thereby fulfill its promise of refuge for all? You bet! As we gather after intermission, restored and ready for more, there will be no question that traditional pieces like Shalom Aleichem, My Dancing Day, and Lord of the Dance will lead us to the end when we – together with you – lift our voices in the refrain of Quem pastores, one of those, as I now know, wonderful “bunch of old songs.”
As I approach my tenth season singing with the Chorale, I’m still no saleslady, but our artistic director Christian Grube, the music he chooses, the dedicated singers under his direction, the venue, and the faithful audience you are a part of have proven I don’t have to be. I thank you for that.
Please, join us again this year for a setting in song that will grant you a few hours of reflection, allow your mind to wander and your ears to be immersed in the sound of Christmas.
Saturday, December 8, 2018 8:00 pm
Sunday, December 9, 2017 4:00 pm
Holy Cross Church
126 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tickets can be purchased on the Santa Cruz Chorale website or at the door.