Sunday, December 9, 2018

Rainbow Chorale Shines and Shares the Holiday Light

By Christine Facciolo

The weather outside was frightful...but the voices of The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware were oh so delightful at St. David’s Episcopal Church in North Wilmington on Friday evening, November 30.

The Rainbow Chorale
Delaware’s first LGBTQ vocal ensemble offered its holiday concert — Share the Light — under the very capable direction of Anthony M. Condoluci-Smith, the group’s interim artistic director.

The success of any choral concert naturally lies in the quality of the singing and this was an evening of some mighty fine singing.

Condoluci-Smith assembled a program that showed off the voice to best advantage as it underscored the ensemble’s mission of inclusion and acceptance.

The program opened with a welcoming gesture to the audience as it sang the playful You’re Home for the Holidays and the concert’s namesake Share the Light, which emphasized the urgent need for people of diverse backgrounds to come together in love and acceptance. The theme continued with Where There is Light in the Soul, a setting of a Chinese proverb and True Light, featuring the solo voice of Jay Simmons.

The ensemble celebrated the holiday traditions of other cultures and ethnic groups with performances of Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Candles) featuring the soaring soprano of soloist Anne E. Shuman, An African Celebration, Ding Dong Merrily on High (the beloved French carol) and from Estonia Ule Lume Lagedale (Over Snowy Winter Roads).

The program recognized that the holidays are not always a happy time for some (Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind) but gave hope that there is still peace (There Will Be Rest) to be found if we look to the light of the stars and listen to the music of the stillness.

Of course, there is plenty of joy in the holidays and that was reflected in a jazzy rendition of the traditional We Three Kings (think Dave Brubeck’s Take Five) Deck the Halls (in 7/8 time no less) and Irving Berlin’s Snow, which recalls a child’s playful romp in the white stuff.

PRISM, the chorale’s ensemble of select voices, offered two selections 
 Northern Lights and Sure on this Shining Night — that described the mystery and emotion of starlight as it guides us through life as well as O Magnum Mysterium, which told of the mystery of the miraculous birth.

The ensemble would return in the second half of the program with a rollicking rendition of Jingle Bells and Dashing Through the Snow.

The concert concluded with members of the chorale surrounding the audience to sing The Work of Christmas, reminding everyone that the good will of the season does not end with the holidays.


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