It’s the season for holiday musical performances, and we went to two this week. On Monday, we saw the college choirs perform a concert of mostly classical seasonal choral music. Five groups performed, including the newest college choir, Schola Enchiriadis, which is not a skin disease, but a group dedicated to pre-16th century music. A little of that goes a long way. The choirs all did an excellent job, led by Jane Tavernier (uncharacteristically attired in a subdued black velvet top and plain pants. Jane, the holidays are upon us--where are your sparkles, your fringe?). Again, there was the unadvertised half-hour pre-concert program that we missed for the second time. Why do they do that? Is it for the shyer performers who don't like an audience? Note to self: go early next time.
Tonight we went to the always packed Pops Concert by the University of Mary Washington Community Symphony Orchestra, a group in dire need of a nickname. Instead of the usual holiday tunes, the orchestra, under the direction of Kevin Bartram, played a tribute to Richard Rodgers. I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I am a big fan of Broadway musicals, and grew up on Rogers & Hammerstein. So the music was lively and accessible and well-played.
But the thrill of the evening (be still my heart) was the surprise appearance (well, it was a surprise to me, anyway) of Fredericksburg’s own Daryl Ott performing three songs. I love this guy. He has an incredible baritone voice that fills the hall. BIG voice. He hardly needs a microphone. His voice is just amazing, awesome, magical. In fact, I had to blog right away to let you know that the concert is going to be repeated tomorrow night (7:30, GW Hall, free admission), and if you can go, GO!
There are more concerts on tap for the coming weeks, including The Messiah by the Fredericksburg Community Chorus on Friday night and Saturday afternoon, and another version by the Stafford Choral Society on Dec. 14. Plus every middle school and high school in the area will be having their winter concerts this month. So take a break from the canned Christmas carols, and get in the spirit with some live music.