Collegiate Peaks Chorale

Collegiate Peaks Chorale opens the holiday season with its Christmas concert series Magnificat, featuring holiday classics, including Mark Hayes’s arrangement of “Magnificat.”

This arrangement originates from the first chapter of Luke in the Bible, in which Mary responds to the news that she will give birth to Jesus. It’s also a personal favorite song of director Brandon Chism.

“(Hayes) brings the text to life with a variety of beautiful and modern melodic treatments and instrumentation,” Chism says. “This will be the feature work of the program, and upon seeing some of the images from the new Webb telescope, I was inspired to name and design the whole program after this work. My hope is that throughout the program, the audience will experience the wonder of the holiday season through this music.”

There will also be an African drum line, the “Hallelujah chorus,” familiar French and English carols, beautiful pieces by John Rutter and a piece that sets “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” with another familiar melody.

His first time in the chorale since being in high school in 2015, Jared Lane sings bass and sometimes leads the bass sections. He is excited for the concerts and confident that audiences will love the variety of music.

“The concert’s title piece ‘Magnificat’ is a wonderful piece,” he says. “It has so many chilling, peaceful and triumphant sounds throughout it. I’m excited to perform that for audiences because it will be an experience to hear.”

With the chorale since around 2010, Rebecca Poos has served as interim director, back-up director and pianist and soprano section 2 leader. She is “immensely” looking forward to this concert series, and she particularly loves the “Magnificat” arrangement.

“The ‘Magnificat’ is not just a ‘nice Christmas carol’ but a powerful message of God’s presence with all, lifting up the lowly and bringing down the corrupt powers of the world. An especially vital message from the Holy One for our day!”

Poos has watched the chorale grow in size, musical quality and even spirit over the past few years, and she has seen the audience grow with them in attendance, appreciation and enthusiasm. “I feel CPC brings an incredible gift of beauty to our communities in this sometimes dark and difficult season,” she says. “I love being a part of that heartwarming spirit-lifter.”

Working with what could be the largest roster in the history of the chorale, Chism says it has been exciting and wonderful working with this ensemble.

“They have worked very hard this season and bring so much enthusiasm and beauty to the music,” he says. “I’m looking forward to continuing to grow as we move forward.

Magnificat takes place at ClearView Community Church in Buena Vista on 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. A third concert will be featured at First Presbyterian Church in Salida at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4. The concerts are free, and donations are gratefully accepted at the door.

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