An Okanagan Christmas ~
Saturday, December 7, 2019
In this year’s concert OFS showcased carols by Alfred Burt and O Magnum Mysterium by Ivo Antognini. This piece was originally written as a gift to a small church choir that his wife directed, however, to his great surprise, the Vancouver Chamber Choir popularized this piece in the world premiere performance in October 2011. OFS also performed the beautiful There Is No Rose by British Columbian composer, Don Macdonald. The musical setting for this text honouring Mary, the mother of Jesus, attempts to convey the image of a rose gently opening to show its full beauty. Also included was Healey Willan’s energetic anthem, Hodie, Christus Natus est, followed by Derric Johnson’s The Sleigh, visualizing a sleigh ‘flying’ through the snow at a break-neck speed.
OFS also invited the Okanagan Children’s Choir, conducted by Frances Chiasson, to perform a set during the evening, and to join OFS in bringing to life Jon Washburn’s A Dylan Thomas Christmas. This is an attractive setting of eleven familiar and beautifully arranged Christmas carols to accompany the reading of Dylan Thomas’s classic A Child’s Christmas in Wales. The text itself was brought to life with the masterful reading of Greg Garrard (Professor of Environmental Humanities at UBC Okanagan), as the narrator.