Joy for your whole family


Friday, November 30, 2018, 7:00 PM
St. Thomas Aquinas Church
305 S. 1st St., Waterford, WI 53185

Sunday, December 2, 2018, 3:00 PM
Siena Center
5637 Erie Street, Racine, WI 53402

Bask in the wonder of the Christmas story, as told through ancient readings and evocative music. To honor the 100th Anniversary of The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, our selections will be drawn from a BBC list of the 25 greatest hymns and carols of all time. We will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the composition of “Silent Night” with an especially lovely version of this cherished carol. Outstanding baritone Nicholas Barootian will be guest soloist in works by Cornelius and Howells. You’re warmly invited to join us for these historic presentations in two of the area’s most beautiful venues. Listen, sing along, and share fellowship as we welcome the advent of a season of hope and love. (See more details below.)

Tickets will be available at the door for both performances. Advance tickets may be purchased at Personal Touch Florists, 5445 Spring Street, Friday 9-6 and Saturday 9-4.  We accept cash or checks made out to “Choral Arts Society.” Thank you!

Tickets ordered before Thursday, November 22nd will be mailed. Tickets ordered after that date will be held at will-call, and available from the box office table beginning one hour prior to performance time.

During Friday’s performance, the St. Thomas choirs will lend their voices. In Sunday’s performance, the chorus will be joined by the festive tones of the Choral Arts Brass. The public is invited to join CAS to listen, sing along, share fellowship, and celebrate the season of hope and love.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of The Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, which tells the Christmas story through spiritual readings and transcendent music. Lessons and Carols had its Kings College, Cambridge premiere in 1918, and has become an international treasure as well as a beloved CAS tradition.

CAS’s associate conductor and board member Patricia Badger recalls, “One time I was eating breakfast at Frank’s Diner in Kenosha. And what should be blasting away but Lessons and Carols all the way from England! Everyone was ecstatic and singing along on the carols. And I thought to myself: I’m sure someone somewhere in England is seated in a pub, singing right along with me. The universal found me; that’s the spirit of Lessons and Carols.”

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of “Silent Night,” an original version of the beloved carol will be featured, as well as a modern arrangement, “Still, Still Night” by Jackson Berkey. The words for “Silent Night” were written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr. In 1818, Franz Gruber composed the melody. The new composition was performed on Christmas Eve 1818, in St. Nicholas Church in Austria. Traveling choirs spread the carol in Europe. In 1839, the Rainer Family Singers gave the song its American debut near Old Trinity Church, Wall Street.

This year’s selections, including “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” by Manz, Biebl’s “Ave Maria”, “Adam Lay Y’ Bounded by Boris Ord and “The Lamb” by John Tavener, were inspired by a BBC list of the 25 greatest hymns and carols. The audience can sing along with “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” View the entire program here: Lessons and Carols – 2018 – Program Order – 100th Anniversary

Baritone Nicholas Barootian will be the featured soloist in works such as “The Three Kings” by Cornelius and “A Spotless Rose” by Howells. Barootian, a frequent guest with CAS, is a Racine native. He founded and directs the Belle Ensemble, a vocal chamber music group. Barootian sings with the Florentine Opera Chorus and serves as director of liturgy and music for St. Francis Xavier and St. John the Baptist Catholic Parishes in Brighton and Paris.

Nichalas Barootian with the Choral Arts Society

Photo by Scott Olsen


This concert is supported in part by a grant from Racine Arts Council’s ArtSeed Grants Program, funded by The Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, Real Racine, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

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