The Tudor Choir

 

2366 Eastlake Ave. E., Suite 335, Seattle, WA 98102

Tel  (206) 323-9415    Fax  (206) 860-9151

Email  info@tudorchoir.org    Website  www.tudorchoir.org

                       Doug Fullington, Artistic Director     Dawn Elwell, General Manager

 

October 20, 2005                                                              Contact: Dawn Elwell, General Manager

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE                                                                       (206) 323-9415

 

The Tudor Choir celebrates the season with Christmas in Olde England

 

 

Christmas in Olde England

 

WHAT:           The Tudor Choir presents

Christmas in Olde England, Carols and Songs of holidays past

With Naomi Kato, harp

 

WHEN &        Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 8:00 p.m.

WHERE:         St. Mark’s Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E., Seattle 98102

                       

WHEN &        Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE:         St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 8398 NE 12th, Medina 98039

 

TICKETS:      $25 general admission; $20 seniors; $15 students

ORDER ONLINE at www.tudorchoir.org or call the Tudor Choir at (206) 323-9415

 

The Tudor Choir presents two performances of CHRISTMAS IN OLDE ENGLAND, featuring carols and songs of holidays past.  The 12-voice choir, directed by Doug Fullington and joined by harpist Naomi Kato, will perform on Saturday, December 17, 2005 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, and on Sunday, December 18, 2005 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Medina.

Tickets for CHRISTMAS IN OLDE ENGLAND cost $25 for general admission, $20 for seniors and $15 for students. Tickets are available online at www.tudorchoir.org or by calling the Tudor Choir at (206) 323-9415.

 

CHRISTMAS IN OLDE ENGLAND is a holiday program celebrating the gloriously idealized yuletide lore of the Middle Ages with the carols and songs of quintessentially English composers, including Peter Warlock, Gustav Holst, Richard Rodney Bennett and Benjamin Britten. The 12-voice Tudor Choir, directed by Doug Fullington, will be joined by harpist Naomi Kato.

Much of the music on the CHRISTMAS IN OLDE ENGLAND program is from the turn of the 20th century, a time when English holiday “traditions” created by the Victorians began to take on new meaning and depth for contemporary artists who were exploring the medieval customs and art of their people. Composers were simultaneously reviving the works of the past and composing new music inspired by their research. A rich past-meets-present repertoire developed. The carols sung for CHRISTMAS IN OLDE ENGLAND are woven with plainchant and works for solo harp.

The program opens with Gustav Holst’s (1874-1934) classic Christmas Day, a medley of traditional carols, including “The first Noel,” “God rest you merry, gentlemen,” and others. Holst’s setting of the medieval text “Lullay my liking” is tinged with a quasi-medieval character, while his well-known setting of “In the bleak midwinter” is a blend of the warmest harmonies of Holst’s own time.

Richard Rodney Bennett’s (born 1936) Five carols also employ medieval texts (“Out of your sleep,” “There is no rose,” “That younge child,” “Sweet was the song” and “Susanni”) in simple four-part settings that are at once spare and beautiful.

Peter Warlock was a master of the miniature carol genre, pairing lesser-known texts (both old and new) with a harmonic sensibility that blends medievalisms and the languid ambiguity of the English impressionist school. From his ecstatic setting of “Benedicamus Domino” to the poignancy of the lullaby “Bethlehem Down,” each carol surprises with a fresh and timeless response to its lyrics.

Naomi Kato attended the University of Washington, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in harp performance. She studied harp with Pamela Vokolek and Lynne Palmer. Naomi is a frequently-heard performer in the Greater Seattle area. She has extensive experience as a performer of new music. She worked with Toru Takemitsu and Murray Schafer at the annual Seattle Spring, an international festival of contemporary music. She has also performed with various groups including Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Bellevue Philharmonic, Orchestra Seattle, Thalia Symphony, Tudor Choir, Seattle Men's Chorus, St. Mark’s Cathedral Choir, Choral Arts Northwest, Marzena, Seattle Pro Musica and Anchorage Civic Opera. As a member of a flute-harp duo, she has performed recitals in both Seattle and Japan. In 1997, she performed on tour in three cities in Japan.

 

The Tudor Choir is a professional vocal chamber ensemble founded in 1993 by Artistic Director Doug Fullington. The group maintains a flexible membership of between 8 and 40 singers and specializes in the performance of Renaissance, early American and English choral music. As Artists-in-Residence at St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle, and a Resident Ensemble at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Medina, the choir presents an annual subscription series and has performed under guest conductors including Peter Phillips, Paul Hillier, Andrew Parrott, Stephen Cleobury and Martin Haselböck. The choir also has made guest appearances with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Early Music Guild of Seattle, Seattle Baroque, and in conjunction with Seattle Opera. The choir's recordings of Tudor polyphony, English carols and early American music have been released on the Loft Recordings label.

The Tudor Choir’s 2005-2006 season is sponsored in part by Classical KING-FM. Additional season support provided by ArtsFund.

 

Program

 

HOLST: Christmas Day

CHANT: Hodie Christus natus est

HOLST: Lullay my liking

BYRT: All and some

RUTTER: Interlude from Dancing Day (harp solo)

HOLST: In the bleak midwinter

BENNETT: Out of your sleep

BENNETT: There is no rose

BENNETT: That younge child

BENNETT: Sweet was the song

BENNETT: Susanni

WALTON: All this time

 

Intermission

 

CHANT: Puer natus est nobis

HOLST: Turley, Turlow

WARLOCK: Bethlehem Down

WARLOCK: I saw a fair maiden

WARLOCK As dew in Aprylle

WARLOCK, arr. CARTER: Lullaby

BRITTEN: Interlude from Ceremony of Carols (harp solo)

BRITTEN: A New Year carol

WARLOCK: Benedicamus Domino

WARLOCK: A Cornish Christmas Carol

RUTTER: Dancing Day