Chorus To Present Holiday Concerts
The Mercersburg Area Community Chorus will celebrate its 35th year with holiday concerts December 4 and 5 at the Mercersburg Academy Chapel. Performance times are 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. The 140-voice chorus and full orchestra under the direction of Richard Rotz will be joined by baritone soloist Alex Helsabeck.
The concerts will feature selections from Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio,” Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” and “Ave Maria” and “O Come Let Us Worship” by Rachmaninoff, as well as contemporary works by Malcom Dalglish and Daniel Gawthrop. The audience will join the chorus for traditional carols, and the concert will conclude with Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”
Alex Helsabeck, baritone, was a member, soloist and section leader of the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants, and is currently a member and soloist with the United States Army Chorus in Washington, D.C. He received associate’s, bachelor’s and Master of Arts degrees in music from Academia Di Vocale in Lucca, Italy.
Helsabeck directs an afternoon school vocal program in Washington, D.C., known as NOTEBUSTERS, whose productions include more than 200 voices, children and adults combined; and in 1992, he was named to the list of “People Who Make a Difference” in Washington, D.C., for his charitable contributions through the arts. In recent years his performances have included “A German Requiem” by Brahms, “Mass in Time of War” by Hayden, “The Seven Last Words” by Dubois and “Messiah” by Handel. He has just completed his newest CD, “My Altar by the Sea,” a selection of spirituals sung a cappella.
Founded in 1975, the Mercersburg Area Community Chorus performs two concert series each year, in April and December. Admission to the Chorus’ concerts is free; however, a freewill offering will be taken. Seating at the Mercersburg Academy Chapel is limited and there are no reserved seats; therefore, early arrival is recommended. For more information about the Chorus’ performances and recordings, call 717-328- 2324 or at www.mercersburgchorus.org.