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Lyrica Chamber Choir performs Saturday at Burton Avenue United Church in Barrie

By Susan Doolan, Special to Postmedia Network

The Lyrica Chamber Choir jumps into the holiday season on Saturday with its performance of Tidings of Great Joy! at Burton Avenue United Church. SUBMITTED

The Lyrica Chamber Choir jumps into the holiday season on Saturday with its performance of Tidings of Great Joy! at Burton Avenue United Church. SUBMITTED

Lyrica Chamber Choir delves into roots of the holiday season with its annual Christmas concert on Saturday.

The choir's artistic director and conductor, Steve Winfield, is calling it Tidings of Great Joy! for a reason.

"It comes from the Christmas story in Luke (from the Bible) where the angel appears and says 'Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy'," said Winfield, adding it announced the birth of Jesus.

"Each piece on the program is built on that narrative," he added. "The musical styles vary from classical to contemporary but all the text centres on the Christmas narrative from the Bible."

The concert, which opens the Lyrica's 17th season, features Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on Christmas Carols along with numerous other compositions including two recent works by award-winning British composer, Patrick Hawes.

Joining the 36 member choir are several special guests, the Tost String Quartet, Dennis McAndrew, saxophone - both have performed with Lyrica in the past - and baritone soloist Adam Harris, who is currently completing his masters in performance studies at the Glenn Gould School in Toronto.

This year also marks the return of the high school scholar program with two young singers: soprano Kaeleigh Farrington, a Grade 11 student who is in Eastview Secondary School's choral program and James Wu, a Grade 12 student at Eastview who is expected to move into a music program at university in 2017.

Some may remember Jonathan McKee, a former high school scholar, who graduated from Eastview in the spring but has opted to stay on with the choir as a member for another year.

Lyrica Chamber Choir presents Tidings of Great Joy! on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Burton Avenue United Church, 37 Burton Ave. Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for seniors/students, available at MacLaren Art Centre, Music Pro or by calling 705-722-0271. 



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