“Noël! Nowell!”

SVCC Chorus

The Southside Virginia Community College (SVCC) Chorus is presenting “Noël! Nowell!” with 42 chorus members and instrumentalists, at two afternoon concerts: the first in Emporia on Sat., December 8 at 3:00 PM at the Main St. United Methodist Church, 500 S. Main St., Emporia, VA 23847; and the second in South Hill on Sun., December 9 at 3:00 PM at South Hill Presbyterian Church, 914 N. Mecklenburg Ave., South Hill, VA  23970. Directed by Carol Henderson and accompanied by pianist Sally Tharrington the concerts are free admission.

The SVCC Chorus is continuing to be supported by the Southside Virginia Community College and the Southside Virginia Community College Foundation. This support has allowed the SVCC Chorus to develop, grow, and bring these excellent concerts into Southside Virginia for our local communities free of charge.

“Noël! Nowell!” SVCC Chorus holiday concerts present Christmas themes of the birth of Jesus, the angel song that leads the shepherds into the quiet snow of wintertime, and the arrival of the three Kings.

Noël is an ancient French word originating from the Latin natalis meaning "birthday." Noël was sung for the first time in a church motet dated in the 1400’s. A noel or nowell can be a buoyant refrain or it can tell the story of the nativity (as does, “The First Noel”). Traditionally, noels were sung when the entire village gathered for singing and celebrating the bringing in of the Yule log.

Randall Thompson’s “Nowel” is unique because it was composed using the singular word ‘Nowel’ throughout. Thompson’s ingenious creation of melody and harmony leads our imagination, and as we listen, we can feel the story of the shepherds led by voices of angels on that dark and quiet night. Randall Thompson has created a gem similar to his quintessential “Alleluia.”

Concert highlights include: a hauntingly beautiful French Canadian carol from the Huron Indians “‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” written by Father Jean de Brébeuf in 1640 and features Dee Pinnell of Boydton on the flute and tenor Rev. Dr. Steven DeOrnellas; the poignant “Carol of the Magi” by John Rutter showcases cellist Brenda Fincher of South Boston and tenor Gavin Honeycutt of South Hill; and “Pavane for a Silent Night”, a choral adaptation of Maurice Ravel’s Pavanne pour une infant défunte, with violinist Bradyn Cole of Boydton. Two Christmas duets: “The Birthday of the King” with Mary Hardin and Ken Vaiden; and “O Holy Night” with Betty Edwards and Gavin Honeycutt. And a piano duet audience pleaser with Carol and Sally at the piano!

“Noël! Nowell!” promises to be a spectacular SVCC Chorus concert with 42 excellent singers from the local area: Sopranos-- Elizabeth Allgood, Brenda Ball, Betty Edwards, Mary Hardin, Judy Johnson, Patricia J. Jutz, Judy Moody, Louise Ogburn, Janie Pealer, Laura Jane Rash, Dottie Thaxton, Jan Vaughan, Nancy Turner, Margie Wollenberg; Altos-- Stephanie Bailey, Nancy Bradshaw, Misty Dooley, JoAnn Farnsworth, Martha Feagan, Charlene Gray, Judy Kemp, Becky Laben, Kelli Lewis, Norma Robertson, Debbie Wilson; Tenors-- Patricia Araway, Robert Bradshaw, Stephen DeOrnellas, Gavin Honeycutt, Bill Lindenmuth, Patricia J. Moyles, Guy Pealer,  Ken Vaiden: and Basses--Dan Araway, Braydn Cole, Lloyd Farnsworth, Tim Faegan, John Laben, Steve Lowe, Jimmy Martin, Buck Smyre, Jimmy Soyars. 

You are cordially invited to “Noël! Nowell!” at 3:00 PM, on Saturday, Dec. 8th at the Main St. United Methodist Church in Emporia, and on Sunday, Dec. 9th at the South Hill Presbyterian Church in South Hill. FREE admission. Traditional carols, noels, Christmas favorites –all with a “joyeux” French flair!