Jamestown High School The 99th annual A Cappella Vespers will be held by A Cappella Choir on Sunday, December 10, and Sunday, December 17, at First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler St., at 4 p.m.
There will be a goodwill offering in addition to the free admission.
“The choir has been very busy preparing for this upcoming Vespers season. We have close to 20 performances on the calendar! You can expect to hear some familiar songs and some new ones. We are especially excited to be singing Handel’s ‘Hallelujah’ from the Messiah. Other choir favorites include ‘Ding-a Ding-a Ding’ and ‘See Amid the Winter’s Snow.’ said Lauren Scharf, choir director.
Smaller groups in the 63-voice A Cappella Choir include the Madrigal Singers, Men of Tomorrow, and Ladies of Today. Emeritus director of the choir Brian A. Bogey will accompany the choir on the organ and piano, respectively. Additionally, the Madrigal Singers have several holiday performances scheduled throughout the Jamestown community.
The Vespers are sacred music concerts held in December at First Lutheran Church. They were started in 1924 by the ensemble’s founder, Ebba Goranson, and feature seasonal songs and carols to help lift the spirits during the holiday season, along with selections from well-known choral works.
Jamestown High School has a long and rich history of teaching choral music. The choir was directed by Goranson from 1924 until she died in 1957. From 1958 until 1981, Donald B. Bubé oversaw the choral department. In 1982, Bogey became the first choir alumnus to hold the directorship. He has supported the A Cappella’s endeavors ever since his retirement in 2003 by serving as organist, friend, and advisor. Norman Lydell directed the choir from 2004 to 2019, and he still advises and supports the group in many ways.
The choir is referred to as the “Choir of Cathedrals” due to its extensive travels both domestically and internationally. The renowned Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and Saint John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, Boston’s Old North Church, St. Michael’s R.C. Cathedral in Toronto, Canada, and St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna—home of the Vienna Boys Choir—have all been used as venues.
In addition, the choir has performed at numerous professional sporting events, historical sites, and master classes at esteemed universities. The Madrigal Singers performed with recording artist Kenny Rogers in December 2009, and the choir collaborated with well-known performer Jim Brickman in December 2015.
Additionally, the choir has made two appearances at Walt Disney World: in 2014 at Disney Springs and in 2019 during EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional, which is narrated by Academy Award–winning actress Marlee Matlin. The Madrigal Singers recently took part in a production of “Sister Act: The Musical” with Buffalo-based theater company Starring Buffalo.
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