Chorus Croons Festive Holiday Tunes


Katy Hart

The chamber chorus warms up before their concert.

Luca Rivera, Junior, Co-Art Editor

On December 6, the PMHS auditorium hosted the annual Winter Chorus Concert featuring a variety of songs appropriate for the season. The song list, organized by Mrs. Abeshouse, included songs in a variety of languages covering holiday themes.

“I want to have some [songs] that are Christmas, and some that are Hanukkah, and some that are not holiday at all,” Mrs. Abeshouse said.

Following a selection of piano pieces from freshman Isaac Blackburn, the concert got into full swing as the chamber chorus, under the baton of Mrs. Maria Abeshouse, sang the upbeat traditional Catalonian carol titled Fum, Fum Fum, accompanied by senior Olivia Imperato on flute.

One of the most memorable songs was the comedic Throw the Yule Log On Uncle John by P.D.Q. Bach (aka Peter Schickele). Under the guise of a traditional Christmas carol, the song’s ridiculous lyrics along with the chorus’ deadpan delivery raised everyone’s holiday spirits.

The song Ave Maria by Jacques Arcadelt and John Leavitt followed, with the rich baritone voices of the male chorus members sending soulful waves throughout the room. Next was the powerful gospel-like preach, Let Everything That Hath Breath by J. Ames and Ralph Waldo Emerson, which featured a powerful solo by junior Athena Woodfin. The concert wrapped up with a beloved PMHS tradition — Hallelujah Chorus from George Frederick Handel’s Messiah. Mrs. Abeshouse invited alumni to the stage to join the chorus. Those brave enough to join the chorus included Simon White of the class of 2015, and Emma Chase and Manisha Asokumar from the class of 2017.

Solos and instrumentalists served as highlights throughout the memorable night. Junior John Howard Bissell on the bass and Mr. Adam Abeshouse on the violin accompanied the chorus on Handel’s Messiah. Moreover, the Pelham community was awed by freshman Isaac Blackburn’s piano performance of Sonata #2, Scherzo by Sergei Prokofiev. Senior Michael Ruggiero also had a solo in the traditional South African song Tshotsholoza, by J. Ames, which he originally performed in 2013.

“As an 8th grader, the solo in Tshotsholoza felt as if it was just a piece of music that I liked. This year, the solo felt like it defined my identity, and my passion,” Ruggiero said.

The evening proved to be a delightful start to the holiday season.