Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think back on your favorite holiday memories…curling up by the fireplace with a warm sweater and hot apple cider; exchanging gifts with a friend and watching a joyful smile spread across their face; the smell of baking cookies for days upon end; a magnificent feast spread across the table to share with family and friends…the warmth and welcoming feelings overflow from your mind, even though it may have been 20 below with 40 mph winds, or surrounded in 2 ft of snow. Frozen fingers and toes are thawed out by the unconditional generosity and reception from our loved ones and, if only for one day, it seems as though none of the wickedness of the world could exist. We’ve all had these memories, and hope to recreate them year after year: we hope to help with our choral offering of Eat, Drink & Be Merry.
The program begins with a joyous welcoming of our guests (in German) and an offering up of some good wein und bier. After a spin of the dreidel and a Chanukah treat, we continue on with a sacred feast by Olivier Messaien (one of my absolute favorite pieces), some good-old-fashioned English wassail, a violated goose, a piece of meat so delectable it was dubbed a knight (World Premiere by Chicago composer, Edward F. Davis), and a raucous finale full of libation and cheer. And as if these 13 gourmet musical courses weren’t enough to satisfy your hunger for the holidays, there will be a catered reception immediately following the concert complete with familiar flavors and seasonal beverages.
We were lucky enough to have several of our fans share their favorite holiday recipes with us, many of which will be featured in our printed program, paired with select pieces. But that isn’t the only way we hope to involve our audience in the WPCS experience…we are also asking that everyone who is able bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and help those who are less fortunate to create holiday memories without hunger this year.
The holidays are a time for sharing, whether it be food, gifts, or music. We are excited to share this fun, light-hearted program with you and hope that you will choose to share a part of your holiday memories with us.
Chorally Yours, Mark Tomasino