Quincy Symphony Chorus presents the CEREMONY OF CAROLS choral concert

The Quincy Symphony Chorus will present the CEREMONY OF CAROLS choral concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at Salem Evangelical United Church of Christ. Dr. Phyllis Robertson will lead the chorus in a selection of traditional and sacred music, accompanied by Mary Shelor.

Melanie Allen, principal harpist of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra will join with the chorus to present Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols.” Britten (1913-1976), based his work on carols which were written in the 15th and 16th centuries. Returning to England in 1942 after three years in North America, Britten obtained a copy of “The English Galaxy of Shorter Poems” when his ship stopped at Halifax, Nova Scotia. During the trip over the Atlantic, Britten completed an arrangement of seven Christmas Carols, which were later adapted for harp. The collection includes “Welcome Yule,” “This Little Babe,” “In Freezing Winter Night” and “Deo Gracias.” The processional and recessional chant is based on the Gregorian antiphon “Hodie Cristus natus est.”

As a special highlight of the evening the audience will be invited to participate in a sing-along of portions of Handel’s “Messiah.” Performers and audience will join voices for “And the Glory of the Lord,” and “Glory to God.” Audience members are not required to sing, but are certainly invited to sing!  Ceremony of Carols promises to be an inspiring and bright addition to holiday celebrations.

Tickets will be available in advance on the QSOA website, www.qsoa.org, at Hy-Vee stores in Quincy, Sturhahn Jewelers, or at the door for $15 for adults and $12 for seniors. A special rate is available for church choirs or groups of 10 or more. To order group tickets by Nov. 29, call (217) 222-2856. Children 18 years of age and under are free to this concert thanks to support from the Tracy Family Foundation.

Flexi-tickets and Twin-Packs, which include single admission tickets to be used in any combination throughout the season, will also be for sale at the concert for $60 and $30 respectively, and are prepackaged in a special presentation envelope perfect for gift giving. These gifts will provide admissions for friends and loved ones to attend QSOA concerts throughout the spring, making a lasting Christmas gift for music lovers on your list.

Ceremony of Carols is sponsored in part by Concert Sponsor Great River Aviation, Maestro Music Sponsor, Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu & Mitchell, Media Sponsor WTAD and by The Illinois Arts Council Agency through the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks to Knapheide Manufacturing and Blessing Health System, the Global Discoveries 2013-14 Golden Baton Season Sponsors.

For more information, visit www.qsoa.org.