By Susan Wang
Decked out in candles and evergreen wreaths, the Santa Monica First Presbyterian Church welcomed the upper school choirs, Chamber Singers, Bel Canto, Jazz Singers, and Wolverine Chorus last Saturday for the schoolâs annual Winter Choral Concert.
The title of this yearâs concert was “Be Music, Night,” tying many of the songs together.
Students sang winter and holiday music consisting of Christmas, Hanukkah and African folk songs.
The night started off with a procession of glowing candles held by every member of the combined choirs. As each choir piled onto the stage, the first sequence of melody was played.
The Bel Canto choir took the stage next, performing “African Processional,” a traditional African folk song full of rhythmic drum beats and other percussion instruments. The rest of the choirâs repertoire consisted of traditional Christmas songs such as “I Saw Three Ships.”
Following Bel Canto was an all male choir that sang two a capella numbers and a hushed rendition of “Coventry Carol.” In one of the a capella songs, “Goyim Friends,” which was a novelty song about Jews being jealous of Christians and the gifts they get for Christmas, the choir danced during the chorus, generating many laughs from the audience.
The Jazz Singers, accompanied by the Jazz Combo, then sang familiar Christmas tunes, like “Silver Bells,” with jazzy twists.
During the intermission, the Jazz Combo performed two contemporary holiday-themed rhythm and blues pieces.
After, the Chamber Singers sang Christmas and Hanukkah folk songs. Karen Kim â12 opened with “Psalm 117.”
A capella songs included holiday songs from foreign origins, such as South American “Venezuelan Carol” and the Hebrew-sung “Al Hanisim.” The Chamber Singers ended the concert with the upbeat medieval Europe-originated “Good Ale.”
The Winter Choral Concert included performances from 85 students in grades 10, 11 and 12.