Whew. Well, if you are in Boston, we are honestly getting to the weather point where I can't blame you if you stay inside and bake cookies all weekend instead of hearing some choral music. However, if you are a hardier soul than I (or just are a total weirdo who actually likes snow) here are some options! There are some very fine concerts this week, so it is probably worth your while to put on your snow pants.
First of all, I just trudged out to Andover for a rehearsal in a snowstorm, so all I can say is that it sure would be nice if people heard the performance! On Sunday at 5 pm, the choir of Christ Church in Andover (plus me!) under the direction of Barbara Bruns will be presenting a Lessons and Carols at 5 pm, which will include a full performance of Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols. This is a reschedule from last week, when it had to be cancelled due to (surprise!) a snowstorm. It's really sounding quite beautiful, and Barbara is a very careful and subtle conductor, who really gets good things out of her choir. Plus, I have a four-bar solo! Sunday, 5 pm, Christ Church in Andover - directions are here.
My other pick for the week is definitely the Blue Heron concert on Saturday. Blue Heron is a professional Renaissance choir, and although I've never had the delight of hearing them myself (and won't this Saturday either) their reputation is for truly stunning performances. They are our very own local Tallis Scholars, although I suspect they might be even better. They will be performing a program called "A Medieval English Christmas and a Burgundian New Year" on Saturday at 8 pm at the First Church in Cambridge (the Congregational one.) Details are on their elegant and navigable website.
And, working backwards in time (we've already covered Sunday and Saturday) my pick for Friday night would be the Chorus pro Musica concert conducted by Lisa Graham at 8 pm at Old South Church in Copley Square. It is late and I am tired, so I will just quote directly from their press release: "Celebrate the mystery and joy of the season with this concert of elegant and festive music, including the Christmas Cantata by Boston composer Daniel Pinkham for chorus and brilliant brass. The program includes the sublime "Let all mortal flesh keep silence," set by Gustav Holst, and Morten Lauridsen's "O magnum mysterium." Keeping with long tradition, there will be a candlelight procession and opportunities for the audience to join in singing carols. Joining the chorus for this concert will be the New England Conservatory Children's Chorus (Jean Meltaus, Director) and the Riverside Brass Quartet."
What else is on this weekend? Not a whole lot, especially compared to last week. I think this is because most musicians are frantically scurrying around trying to prepare for all their Christmas services this week. In fact, there are pretty much no other options for Friday and Saturday, so it's a good thing that your one option for each night is so stellar! A few more on Sunday...
On Sunday at 7 pm at the First Congregational Church in Camden, you can hear Saint-Saens' Christmas Oratorio (which I am fascinated by, b/c I haven't heard of this piece.) I couldn't find many details, but there is an address and phone number on this website.
If you are out west, then on Sunday at 7 pm at St. John's Episcopal Church in Northampton you can join a Messiah sing! Hosted by Commonwealth Opera - details on their website.
Monday evening, of course, features tons of beautiful services at every church anywhere, but one choice is to hear Pinkham's Christmas Cantata at the Lessons and Carols service at King's Chapel on Tremont Street at 10:30 pm.