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Christmas Music from the National Shrine

If you are in Washington, D.C., tomorrow evening, you could come to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to hear the annual Christmas Concert for Charity (December 3, 7:30 pm), featuring yours truly in the Choir of the National Shrine, along with the Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University. Our part of the program includes:

  • Michael Praetorius, Puer natus in Bethlehem
  • Peter Latona, Annunciation
  • Tomás Luis de Victoria, Ave Maria (à 8)
  • Luca Marenzio, Jubilate Deo (à 8)
  • Victoria, Missa Salve Regina (à 8), "Credo" movement
  • Hans Leo Hassler, Verbum caro factum est
  • Victoria, O Magnum Mysterium (secunda pars)
  • Latona, Hodie Christus Natus Est
Entrance is free, and the proceeds of a charitable donation will benefit an excellent organization here in Washington called So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.). Enjoy some beautiful music and do something good for the world. (If you cannot attend in person, you can watch this concert if you have EWTN on your local cable or satellite programming, broadcast on Sunday, December 19, at 1:30 pm, or on Saturday, December 25, 2004, at 3 am.)

Also, mark your calendars. We in the Shrine Choir recorded a program for Public Radio International called Carols for Christmas 2004:
Host Bill McGlaughlin presents Carols for Christmas 2004 from the nation's capital, a festival of superb choirs joined by some of the finest young soloists in the land. Performed at the splendid Basilica of the National Shrine, some 200 voices from the great churches of Washington perform with the exciting young talent from the National Opera to present this unique program of much-loved carols. Listeners enjoy traditional favorites, such as "Joy to the World" and "Adeste Fideles." They also hear soloists performing "Cantique d'noel" (O, Holy Night), excerpts from Berlioz popular "L'Enfance du Christ," long-standing favorite "Ave Maria" by Gounod, festive works by Verdi and Puccini, and a hallelujah chorus. Readings are interspersed among the carols to retell the Christmas story. McGlaughlin not only introduces the music and readings, he also guides listeners through the amazing venue. With a capacity of 7,000, the Basilica of the National Shrine is the eighth largest religious space in the world, replete with brass and golden mosaics adorning a space that boasts two great organs situated at opposite ends of the sanctuary.
Not mentioned are Franck's Panis angelicus and the Gloria movement from Franck's Mass from which Panis angelicus is excerpted. The program will be broadcast here in the Washington area on WETA (90.9 FM) on Christmas Day (Saturday, December 25, from noon to 1 pm). It will be broadcast at various times on stations that carry PRI programming around the United States. Check your local public radio station's program to see if you can hear it in your area.

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