Counterpoint premieres American Christmas songs in Shelburne

Continuing their tradition of combining the familiar and the novel at Christmas time, Counterpoint, Vermont’s 12-voice professional vocal ensemble, announced their upcoming holiday concerts, “Shouts and Cradle Songs,” to be performed Dec. 7-9 in St. Johnsbury, Montpelier, and Shelburne, under the direction of Artistic Director Nathaniel G. Lew.

“Shouts and Cradle Songs” is the title of a new 10-movement suite of Christmas spirituals and folksongs arranged by California-based composer Jude J. Navari. “Navari has always been fascinated by early American sacred music traditions” explained Lew. “In ‘Shouts and Cradle Songs,’ he combines Christmas songs from white Appalachian and African-American traditions. The music combines elements of classical choral music, concert spirituals, and vocal jazz. We all feel privileged to be giving the East Coast premiere of this major work.”

The concerts also include traditional English carols arranged by Robert De Cormier, Counterpoint’s Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, seasonal works from the classical tradition, and a few old favorites. Organist Susan Summerfield joins the ensemble on several works and for solos by Hugo Distler and Johann Sebastian Bach.

Tickets and information about “Shouts and Cradle Songs” is as follows:

Fri, Dec 7, 7:30 pm, North Congregational Church, 1325 Main St., St. Johnsbury: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students. (802) 748-2600, catamountarts.com.

Sat, Dec 8, 7:30 pm, Christ Episcopal Church, 64 State St., Montpelier: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students. (802) 540-1784, counterpointchorus.org.

 Sun, Dec 9, 4 pm. United Methodist Church, 30 Church St., Shelburne: $20 for adults, $15 for seniors, $5 for students. (802) 540-1784, counterpointchorus.org.

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