A capella group performs in Shelburne Dec. 4

Amaryllis, Vermont’s Early Voice, an a capella group of 17 singers from Addison County and beyond, will present “Laudibus!  A Renaissance Choral Christmas” in two performances on Wednesday, Dec.4, at Trinity Episcopal Church in Shelburne; and on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church on the Green in Middlebury. Both concerts begin at 7:30 pm and the suggested donation is $12.

The highlight of the concert is the “Magnificat” by Nicoliai Gombert, an elaborate piece that alternates plainchant with polyphonic settings of the text, progressing from three to six parts. The ensemble will also present motets by 16th-century masters Josquin, Di Lasso, Guerrero, and Taverner. A couple of energetic medieval carols and a bevy of old German, French, and Spanish songs will add a bit of festivity to the program.

Susanne Peck, director of music at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and Affiliate Artist at Middlebury College, directs the ensemble. She brings to her work here a long and distinguished career in early music performance and choral directing in the New York City area. Amaryllis formed nearly two years ago and is based in Middlebury.

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