PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University will offer an annual winter-holiday treat December 8 at 3 p.m. when the University Chorale and Chamber Singers present A Joyful Noise! Professor Dan Perkins directs the choirs.
The central work of the concert will be "Laud to the Nativity," an early 20th Century neo-Romantic piece by Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. It tells the story of Mary's visitation by an angel, and continues on through the visit of the wise men at the manger. The piece will feature a small chamber orchestra of two flutes, two oboes, two bassoons and four-hands piano (performed by PSU collaborative pianist Charles Blood and his daughter Elizabeth).
Student soloists are Rachel Pantazis, soprano, an English major with music minor, from Manchester; Laura Daigle, mezzo-soprano, a theatre arts major from Salem; and Jason Faria, tenor, a theatre arts major from Hudson, Mass.
Sarah Salis said in Vox3 Collective, "Respighi set out to elicit the mystery, the magnitude, and the ancient setting of his subject matter by borrowing musical ideas from the past. ... As we do not have an existing record, other than written descriptions, of music from ancient times when the Nativity would have taken place, Respighi reached as far back as he could to adopt musical idioms that capture the feeling of a far distant past in Italy. ... Respighi created a soundscape that conjures up images of Italy's history – both religious and secular."
Other works on the program follow a theme of light, including:
Lux aurumque by Eric Whitacre; Omnia sol by Stroope; Northern Lights by Gjeilo and Light of a Clear Blue Morning by Dolly Parton.
The concert will conclude with familiar Christmas carols.
Tickets for A Joyful Noise! in the Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center are $15-13 for adults, $13-11 for seniors and $11-9 for youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.