Treasure State Chorale

Courtesy photo

The Treasure State Chorale, under the direction of its founder, Phil Harris, will bring the sounds of the season to the stage for two performances.

The concert on Saturday, Dec. 12, will be held at the Mission Church in St. Ignatius at 2 p.m. The frescoes in this historic church need immediate restoration and repair, and the chorale would like to help with the massive and expensive project.

Many can remember the cool temperature in the church last Christmas, but the boiler has been repaired, so expect a warm and cozy atmosphere for the matinee of Christmas music. Admission donations can help maintain the beauty of such a unique part of Montana’s history.

The Missoula concert is Sunday, Dec. 13, at 4:30 p.m. Doors will not open until 4 pm to allow the chorale rehearsal time. The venue is St. Anthony’s Church, 217 Tremont St., and since the choir has arranged for extra seating, comfortable chairs should be available to all for this performance. Admission is by $5 suggested donation to help offset concert expenses.

Variety is the trademark of the chorale, and these concerts are no exception. The many sounds representing Christmas will be heard - from the jingling of bells as a sleigh glides over the snow, to decorating the house, singing a Scottish reel with the fiddles, and entertaining strangers by the fire.

Imagined sights and aromas combine with the many sounds to help bring the audience into the festive time December brings.

Following the free-will offering, the chorale returns to the stage to present the Christmas story in song and verse. Music by Bach, John Rutter, Alfred Burt, and Mark Hayes are included in the programming as the story of the Nativity unfolds. Some music on the program will be familiar pieces heard throughout the years, but many are new compositions that add an exciting dimension to the performance.

Several a cappella pieces add to the wide variety, as does a Bach piece from the Christmas Oratorio accompanied by pipe organ. Fiddle, violin and cello add color to the recently published selections. “Pacem” brings the concert to a close with the words of the angels’ song “And on earth peace and goodwill toward all men” coupled with “Grant us peace." An added bonus will be a pipe organ prelude performed by Peter Edwards, followed by an audience sing-along of a few familiar carols.

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