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Sacred music to celebrate the season



What: Lullay, I Saw from musica intima

Where: Maurice Young Millennium Place

When: Sunday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.

Musica intima is taking the lead, minus the leader.

The 12-piece choral ensemble from Vancouver produces all their music, including their latest CD, Invocation , without a conductor. They perform an array of sacred music, hymns and songs that celebrate the season, this Sunday, Dec. 16 at the Maurice Young Millennium Place theatre.

"Audiences are intrigued that there is no conductor. Instead the 12 musicians are one artistic, creative body that plans together," says manager David Pay. "For example, if they’re looking at doing an a cappella concert at Christmas they’ll flush out the idea and present it to their board, who offer good feedback."

Instead of working under the direction of a conductor, the choral ensemble exchange ideas in rehearsal, then perform a set list at shows.

Their Dec. 14 performance at Vancouver’s Ryerson United Church is being recorded for television specials which will air Dec. 24 on ArtTV and Christmas day on Radio-Canada TV. The Ryerson concert will also air Dec. 19 on CBC Radio 2’s Take Five.

The MY Place program on Dec. 16 includes two compositions from musica intima members. Derrick Christian’s I Wonder as I Wander will be followed by an arrangement of the Huron Carol, by tenor Jonathan Quick.

"I wrote the arrangement because of the mystery in the text. The idea that there is this Christmastime wonderment, that inspired me," Quick says of the Huron Carol.

"The story’s lyrics come from the Huron people’s carol of the 1600s in Quebec that celebrates God at Christmastime," he adds as he begins humming "…twas in the moon of wintertime and all the birds had fled," into the phone.

"Because the ensemble has a collective history, they’ve developed the best way to co-ordinate musical styles," adds manager Pay.

With a decade of experience behind them, the success of musica intima peaked this summer with their appearance on This Morning on CBC Radio 1.

Musica intima has performed with singer Paul Hiller, percussionist Salvador Ferraras, and the Celtic-funk band Mad Pudding. They also won a Juno for their 1999 debut musica intima . Their second album, clear , was released internationally on the ATMA Classique label.

Additional members of music intima include sopranos Lauren Bacon, Joanna Dundas and Katherine Goheen; altos Melanie Adams, Marianne de Kleer and Caitlin MacRae; tenors Troy Topnik and Sean Veley; and basses Derrick Christian, Andy Hilhouse and Michael Murray.

The songlist for musica intima’s Whistler performance includes O Come, o come Emmanuel from Stephen Chatman, which leads into five carols including There is No Rose, Out of Your Sleep, That Younge Child, Sweet was the song, and Susanni from Richard Rodney Bennett. They are followed by Noel Nouvelet, Es Ist ein Ro’ entsprungen, and Ave Maria from Franz Biebl.

Following the intermission, musica intima will sing Hodie, Christus natus est from Healey Willan, O Magnum Mysterium from Morten Lauridsen, Noelis Anciens arranged by Donald Patriquin, Coventry Carol and Lullay I saw, anonymous pieces from the 16th century, Kenneth Leighton’s Lully, Lulla thou little tiny child, and Ex Ore from Guillaume Bouzignac with a baritone solo from Andy Hilhouse.

The musica intima performance in Whistler is presented by the Alta Lake School. A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m.; concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

For information on musica intima call Maurice Young Millennium Place at 604-935-8410.

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