Every December the more the 350 voices of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and its associated Chorus School take to the stage of Davies Symphony Hall for an annual Christmas concert. The title of this season’s program is A Highlands Holiday; and, as one might expect, bagpipes will be involved. The program will offer the world premiere of “Salute on the Birth of Rory Mor,” scored for large chorus and bagpipes and composed by Matthew Welch, himself a virtuoso of the Highland Bagpipe. (Through his rock band Blarvuster, he has also come to be known as “the Eddie Van Halen of the bagpipes.”) Note the plural of the noun “bagpipe” in Welch’s scoring; he will be joined by several local pipers.
The program will also include the world premiere of an arrangement of “We Three Kings” by Kurt Erickson. Another rethinking of a traditional carol will be James MacMillan’s “Nova! Nova! Ave fitt ex Eva,” which dates from the fifteenth century. MacMillan’s “New-Made for A King” will also be sung. The program will also include Benjamin Britten’s Opus 63 Missa Brevis, originally scored for boys’ voices and organ, as well as holiday music by Henry Purcell, Gustav Holst, and John Rutter. There will also be traditional carols and sing-along opportunities for the audience. Finally, cellist Joshua Roman will return by popular demand to perform as a guest artist for a performance of John Tavener’s “The Child Lived” for soprano solo and cello.
This concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 19. Davies Symphony Hall is located on the southwest corner of Van Ness Avenue and Grove Street, convenient to north-south and east-west Muni lines, as well as the Civic Center station for both Muni and BART. Ticket prices are $30, $35, $45, and $60. Tickets may be purchased in advance online through a City Box Office event page, which provides a seating plan showing which prices apply to which areas in Davies.