Friday, December 21, 2018

SFRV Annual Free Xmas Concert Tomorrow

courtesy of San Francisco Renaissance Voices

Late tomorrow afternoon San Francisco Renaissance Voices (SFRV) will present its annual Christmas gift to the local community. The Festival of Lessons & Carols is a re-creation of the service that originated in 1918 at King’s College, Cambridge (in England) for the first celebration of the Christmas season following the end of World War I. (Many will recall that the centennial of that occasion was honored last month, since, given the toll taken on both sides of that conflict, “celebration” did not seem like an appropriate noun.)

The SFRV reflection on this British tradition has involved a tradition of its own, which is the interleaving of music from the past with that of the recent present. The latter will be represented by “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” a setting of the poem of the same name by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, composed on commission by Kyle Hovatter. Hovatter has become one of our city’s rising talents in the composition of vocal music, both solo and choral; and he is currently Director of Music at Zion Lutheran Church. The guest conductor for the occasion will be another rising local talent, Derek Tam, Music Director of both MUSA and Ars Minerva and last seen in San Francisco conducting the Ars Minerva production of Giovanni Porta’s opera Ifigenia in Aulis less than a month ago. There will also, of course, be plenty of familiar carols to sing, for which Stacy Cullison will provide organ accompaniment.

SFRV will present this event as part of their role as Artists-in-Residence at the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation, located in the Sunset at 1750 29th Avenue, about halfway between Moraga Street and Noriega Street. To repeat, this will be a free event. Nevertheless, this has traditionally be a popular event; and last year’s performance was standing room only when it began. As a result, reservations are strongly recommended; and they may be made through an Eventbrite event page.

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