Festival Halle in Reedville looked like Christmas during the Festival Chorale’s concert Sunday afternoon. The hall is painted white and its chairs are white. With many of the standing room only crowd wearing red sweaters or coats the place was a-bloom with Yuletide colors.
The chorale sang, with the audience’s help on two of them, 19 seasonal pieces ranging from Ninth century French songs to Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”
The concert started slowly with some gorgeous but not exactly up tempo European pieces probably written for medieval cathedral choirs but picked up when the chorale moved into more modern work starting with “Away in a Manger.” The audience’s first enthusiastic applause followed “Silent Night” and then, the applause
after “Go Tell It on the Mountain” topped that.
“Go Tell It on the Mountain” was maybe the most difficult piece of the concert with the basses and tenors alternating with the sopranos and tenors while Jim Leach kept time with finger snapping, the only percussion of the concert.
The audience joined the chorale in singing a second round of “Silent Night” and in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Sharon Freude directed the chorale while Carina Harrison accompanied it on piano. Jessica Guy-Haynie added a lilting flute to a number of the songs.