The Island Community Chorus will open the holiday season with a festive concert program, presented twice this weekend at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.
At 7:30 p.m. tomorrow, and again at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, the chorus will sing under the baton of its artistic director Peter Boak, with accompanist Garrett Brown at the piano.
For this holiday concert, the chorus is bringing back a popular favorite it hasn’t performed for several years, singing selections from G.F. Handel’s Messiah.
For the first time, the chorus will be performing a cycle of seasonal songs entitled When Icicles Hang, written in 1973 by the great British choral composer John Rutter. The six choral settings take their lyrics from poems by Shakespeare and Thomas Campion as well as from traditional 14th and 15th-century songs; they have a broad emotional range, from the melancholy of Winter Wakeneth All My Care to the rambunctious festivity of Good Ale. They also serve as a showcase for the virtuosity of the chorus’s accompanist, Mr. Brown.
Rounding out the weekend program will be a variety of shorter seasonal pieces, from Rutter’s Nativity Carol to a setting of the traditional Hanukkah candle blessing, sung in Hebrew, and a lively David Willcocks arrangement of Jingle Bells.
Suggested donation for both concerts is $15 at the door; refreshments will be served following both performances downstairs in the Baylies Room.