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The Oratorio Society of Virginia Michael Slon, Music Director

Christmas at The Paramount

Paramount Theater, Charlottesville
Dec. 21, 2013, 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm

The Oratorio Society opens our 2013-14 season with our traditional family-friendly concerts designed to get everyone in a festive spirit. Tickets can be purchased on our website, by calling 434-295-4385, or at The Paramount Theater. Music Director Michael Slon will conduct the chorus, accompanied by harp and brass quintet, performing Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, a variety of familiar holiday favorites, and the ever crowd-pleasing Nigerian carol Betelehemu. The Burley Bearettes Young Women’s Chorus(2:30) and the Albemarle High School Patriot Singers (7:30) will make debut performances with the Oratorio Society. Both award-winning youth choruses represent the best voices in their schools and have performed at festivals and conferences along the east coast.

We are happy to welcome back UVa Music Performance Librarian Winston Barham who will present pre-concert lectures on Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and other works 45 minutes prior to each performance in the Paramount’s Balcony Lounge.

We are grateful for the support of this concert by Marotta Wealth Management, for our season and media sponsors, shown below, and for donations from our singing members, program advertisers, and concert audiences.

Thanks to the generous support of local businesses, the Oratorio Society is offering a “Bring a Friend” discount. Tickets for two or more K-12 students, accompanied by at least one paying adult, are $10.00 off—only $5.00 each!

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Albemarle High School Patriot Singers

The Patriot Singers are the premier mixed choral ensemble at Albemarle High School. Members are primarily tenth through twelfth graders, selected by audition. The group has won numerous national competitions along the East Coast, in Texas, California, and most recently, were awarded the Grand Sweepstakes award in the Music Festivals at Sea competition in Nassau, Bahamas in March, 2013. They consistently receive Superior ratings at District Assessment each year. They are under the direction of Mrs. Jennifer Morris and accompanied by Mr. Ben Griffin.

Jennifer Layman Morris is currently in her 22nd year as the choral director at Albemarle High School. She has served as Department Chair for thirteen of those years, as well serving on the Albemarle County Fine Arts Vertical Team, as Secondary Music Representative to the county, Women’s Music Chair for the American Music Director’s Association and Representative for District 13 to the Virginia Music Educator’s Association. She has been guest director for numerous Honors Choirs in Virginia and along the East Coast. She currently directs five choirs and mentors two student-run a cappella groups at AHS. Her groups have consistently received high scores and honors at District and State events, and have received national recognition as a superior choral program. She received her Bachelor of Music Education from East Carolina University and her Master of Music from James Madison University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Ron, and her two children.

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The Burley “Bearettes” Young Women’s Chorus

The Bearettes started with a small group of women in the Spring of 2001. The ensemble was originally intended to be an informal group that prepared easier pieces that required little rehearsal and featured a soloist. Since then, the group has grown to 52 voices and has performed at venues all over the East coast. The ensemble is 100% volunteer (including the director); neither school credit nor compensation is made other than the joy afforded when performing at a very high level. Honors include performances at the Virginia Music Educators Association state conference (November 2007); collaborative performances with the Singing Men of Ohio University; Music Festivals, Inc.’s United States “National Grand Champion” award for 2006-2007, 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011, a Bronze medal for youth ensemble performance at the World Choir Games in July 2012, and serving as the official choir of the Charlottesville Fire Department. The ensemble has performed in New York, Atlanta, Charlottesville, Washington, DC, Virginia Beach, Athens, Ohio, and Myrtle Beach. The women have released a feature documentary film, “The Way We Are.” The Bearettes are thrilled to perform today as guests of the Oratorio Society!

Mr. Craig Jennings is the director of the Bearettes Young Women’s Chorus. He has been the choral director at Burley Middle School since August 1998. Mr. Jennings received his undergraduate training at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, studying under Walter Chesnut, E. Wayne Abercrombie, Charles Heffernan, Thom Hannum, and others. He received his graduate instruction at Virginia Commonwealth University. His master’s project is entitled “Creating and Nurturing a Middle School Women’s Ensemble.” He has served as the guest conductor for the VMEA District XIII Women’s High School and the District VIII mixed middle school choirs, the interim director for the University of Virginia Women’s Chorus, and as a section leader and member of the executive board of the Virginia Consort Vocal Ensemble.

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Ticket Prices

Gold Circle (Rows G&H in center orch., balcony boxes) $ 49.00
Adult 25.00
Student 15.00
Student — Bring a Friend! 5.00

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