The Susquehanna Chorale presented its traditional Candlelight Christmas concert series with evening programs in the Harrisburg area on Friday and Saturday, December 16 and 17 and a matinee on Sunday, December 18. The programs were conducted by Founder, Artistic Director and Conductor Linda L. Tedford. A reception for the audience and singers following each program.
The annual Candlelight Christmas programs have become a much-loved tradition in the region. "Our family’s Christmas celebration truly begins with the holiday concert of the Susquehanna Chorale,” Kim Phipps, President of Messiah University has said. “Their joyous music reminds us of the advent messages of peace and hope.”
This year, the Chorale’s vocal program was enhanced with musical accompaniment by brass, organ, violin, piano, and percussion. Members of the Messiah University Brass were featured in a performance of John Rutter’s inspirational three-movement Gloria.
The Chorale’s majestic opening processional, Personent Hodie, set the stage for a colorful array of music expressing a wide range of human emotions from awe to joy. The reverence of the season was captured in Jim Clements’ Gabriel’s Message and Eric Whitacre’s hauntingly beautiful Lux Aurumque. The Chorale brought holiday cheer with their performance of Jerry Rubino’s setting of It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and a whimsical performance of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Traditional songs and carols followed, including an audience sing-along of Mack Wilberg’s Joy to the World with brass and organ accompaniment. As lights are dimmed and candles glow, the Chorale surrounded the audience for the traditional finale, Silent Night.
The Susquehanna Chorale, a nationally acclaimed adult chamber ensemble of 40 auditioned singers, was founded by Linda L. Tedford in 1981. The Chorale has been praised for its “ethereal blend,” “unparalleled tone,” and strong emotional connection to the music. The Chorale maintains an active regional concert schedule, including appearances at choral festivals and other national and international venues. The Susquehanna Chorale is a recipient of Chorus America’s most prestigious award, the Margaret Hillis Achievement Award for Choral Excellence. For more information, visit their website at www.susquehannachorale.org.
Susquehanna Chorale conductor, Artistic Director, and founder Linda Tedford was honored by the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania with the Elaine Brown Award for lifelong commitment to excellence and leadership in the choral art. In 2013, she received Theatre Harrisburg’s Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in the Capital Region. Tedford is also the 2022 recipient of Central Penn Journal’s Circle of Excellence Award.
The Susquehanna Chorale is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.