by M. Dickey Drysdale, The Randolph Herald
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Read notes for Rejoice! -- Christmas Songs (2001) for SATB Chorus and Orchestra
Just last week, a chorus of 600 singers lined an auditorium at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa to perform the world premiere of new Christmas music by Braintree composer Gwyneth Walker.
It was a great success, and the composer was given a rousing ovation after the performance.
The world’s second performance of Rejoice! takes place this weekend, and this time Walker won’t have to get on a plane. The new composition will be part of the annual Randolph Singers Christmas Concert.
The concert, traditionally an important part of Randolph’s holiday season, is this Sunday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at Chandler Music Hall on Main Street in Randolph.
The composition is meant to be relatively easy for amateur singers to sing—and thrilling for audiences to listen to. Two of the three parts of Rejoice! are arrangements of familiar carols, "What Child Is This?" and "Good Christian Men Rejoice."
The third is a beautiful new carol entirely composed by Walker to an old text, "Love Came Down at Christmas," a poem by Christina Rossetti.
The Randolph Singers will be under the direction of their director, Larry Hamberlin, for a program called "A New England Christmas," because all the music was written by New England composers. They will be joined in the Walker composition by Sounding Joy!