The Christmas season gets off to a great start with a festive concert from the Sooke Philharmonic Chamber Players Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Sooke Baptist Church (7:30 p.m.), and Sunday, Dec. 4 at New St. Mary’s Church in Metchosin (2:30 p.m.).
Like the season itself, this concert is a mixture of the solemn and the fun.
Handel’s Messiah, of course, is a must, and the concert will present several arias from Part I, including Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion, sung by Nancy Washeim, and Why do the Nations so furiously rage together, sung by Wade Noble. The SPO Chorus will bring us selections including For Unto Us a Child is Born and Lift Up Your Heads O Ye Gates, and the orchestra will play the ever-popular Pastoral Symphony.
J.S. Bach’s Air for string orchestra and the Echo aria from his Christmas Oratorio, sung by Nancy Washeim, also reflect the underlying message of the season.
The well-known Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams strikes a more contemporary note, as does his Fantasia on Christmas Carols.
The Toy Symphony is a pure bit of fun. However, there is something of a mystery concerning just who composed it. Scholarship is divided between Joseph Haydn in one corner and Leopold Mozart, the father of Amadeus, in the other. It has real toys: a trumpet, ratchet, nightingale, quail, cuckoo, triangle and drum. The toy soloists will be a surprise.
True to the most venerable Christmas tradition, there will also be a few carols, and the audience will be invited to sing along.
To add to the festivities, please wear your red SPO scarf if you purchased or received one last winter.
This is a concert that will be very enjoyable for people of all ages.
A portion of every ticket sold for the Sooke concert will go toward the Sooke Christmas Bureau fundraising activities.
In Sooke, tickets are available from the Little Vienna Bakery, South Shore Gallery, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wood Travel & Cruise, and Edward Milne Community School.
In Victoria, from Ivy’s Bookshop and Long & McQuade.
Westshore, Tom Lee Music.
Metchosin, Metchosin Country Store.
Also remember our new Family Pack tickets — one or two adults and up to four youth, all for $30.
Visit us at www.sookephil.ca or (250-642-2849)
Contributed by Sonja de Wit