Christmas in the Air

The Sippican Choral Society held its annual Christmas concert on Sunday, December 2 at Wickenden Chapel of Tabor Academy.  “The Many Moods Of Christmas” featured sacred and secular Christmas music performed by the Sippican Chamber Choir and South Coast Children’s Chorus.

Brian Roderick has been the musical director for the chamber choir since 2003, but the Choral Society dates back to 1965.  Since its first Christmas concert in 1966, the show has been one of the premier holiday events of the area.

Roderick has continued the tradition of offering a diverse program ranging from the obscure to the conventional.

“We try to pock pieces of contrasting text and mood,” said Roderick.  The chamber choir performed a version of the well-known carol “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” as well as an upbeat Latin-language “Psallite” by Michael Praetorius.

“They’re a wonderful group.  They willingly tackle new repertoire. They actually prefer it,” said Roderick.  “And it’s always fun to do things with the South Coast Children’s Chorus.  It gets people to come to a concert that they ordinarily may not attend.”

The children’s group has been around since 2009, when musical director Leslie Piper first gathered young singers from six area churches to form the initial group.

The children sang a processional song as they lined up on stage.  They followed that up with “Child of Light,” a partner song that mixes an original melody with a familiar tune.

“I’d done that song with a church choir a few years ago.  I love it because after a while, you start to hear ‘What Child Is This?’ coming through,” said Piper.  “Then it brings it back to a song people know.”

They closed their set with the comical song, “No Time To Diet,” a song Piper found at random while listening to CDs from music publishers.

“I had heard an adult group singing it, and it was silly, but I thought how much fun it would be for the kids,” she said.

The song celebrates all the delicious delicacies of the holiday season and reminds those who may be counting calories that they can always make a weight-loss resolution at New Year’s.

“You need a song like that to lighten the tone a bit.  You have all these serious pieces and even though the audience knows a few, it’s nice to bring it up a bit with the kids,” said Piper.

The concert at Wickenden Chapel was the second and final of the series, following the premier concert at Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford on November 30.

By Eric Tripoli

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