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ARS Ushers in Holiday Spirit with Rejoice and Be Merry!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: October 17, 2019

Contact: Julie Ray, Communications Consultant
julie@julieraycreative.com
(520) 891-8098

Arizona Repertory Singers Ushers in Holiday Spirit with Four December Concerts: Rejoice and Be Merry!

[TUCSON, AZ]—Arizona Repertory Singers returns to its choral roots this December with traditional holiday favorites and fun and festive new music. The 45-member choral ensemble will usher in the holiday spirit with songs like Hark! In 7/8 by Steven Landau and Bring Us In Good Ale by Gustav Holst alongside stunningly beautiful classics by Francis Poulenc, Ola Gjeilo, and up-and-coming composer Connor Koppin.

The winter concerts Rejoice and Be Merry! are the first led by the new music director of ARS, Ryan Phillips, M.M. Phillips said the concerts offer diverse and beloved choral music with a fun twist on tradition. Phillips grew up in Tucson singing with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus. He earned his Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Arizona, and a Master’s in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University.

Phillips expects There is No Rose by American composer Connor Koppin to be a highlight of the concert. Written in 2013 when Koppin was in his early 20s, it is based on a much-loved traditional English text. “It is so beautiful and full of texture as it splits into eight voices,” Phillips said.

Audiences will also enjoy the lively Brightest and Best, a soaring piece by American composer Shawn Kirchner, featuring bluegrass fiddle and wild piano accompaniment by Trissina Kear.

Classic works will include O Magnum Mysterium, published in 1952 by French composer Francis Poulenc, and O Nata Lux from the 1500s, written by Thomas Tallis, the father of English choral music. Newer choral pieces that match the classics’ haunting beauty are The Rose by Norwegian Ola Gjeilo, which will be accompanied by string quartet, and an arrangement of the Hanukkah song S’vivon B’sheva by Tucsonan Robert Lopez-Hanshaw, a tenor with ARS and music director at Temple Emanu-El.

Phillips will accompany the chorus on guitar for the rhythmic and festive Abreme la Puerta, a Puerto Rican “aguinaldo.” “The song is traditionally sung by groups traveling from house to house late at night in December with the sole intention of waking up the owners of the house to receive food and drinks from them,” Phillips said. “It will be fun.”

This year’s December ARS concerts include two afternoon concerts and two evening performances, at four separate venues.

2019 ARS Holiday Concerts: Rejoice and Be Merry!

7:30 p.m. Friday, December 6
Christ the King Episcopal Church
2800 W. Ina Road

3 p.m. Sunday, December 8
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
2331 E. Adams Street

7:30 p.m. Friday, December 13
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road

4 p.m. Sunday, December 15
Christ Church United Methodist
655 N. Craycroft Road

ADMISSION: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Tickets are available online at arsingers.org, at the door or from an ARS member. All sales are final. Students admitted free.

Email info@arsingers.com for group ticket discounts – $15 each for groups of 10 or more.

AZPM Classical 90.5 regularly broadcasts ARS holiday concerts as part of its Community Concert Series, making the ensemble’s diverse choral repertoire available to Arizona radio listeners as well as people around the world via streaming audio on the Internet. Check radio.azpm.org for broadcast time.

The Arizona Repertory Singers is an auditioned ensemble of singers from greater Tucson. Since 1984 this choir has developed an extensive repertory and prides itself on presenting high quality performances of the standard repertoire and new music. Our community of singers, selected through a rigorous audition process, represent a variety of work life careers in business, education, engineering, information technology, law, medicine, social service, science and the arts. ARS funders include the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.

Psalms of David and Songs of Solomon – April 2019

Psalm settings by C.V. Stanford, Arthur Honegger and James Macmillan. Music reflecting the “Song of Songs” by John Dunstable and Edward Bairstow; Purer than purest pure, a setting of poetry by e.e. cummings by UA composer Daniel Asia, and Make peace, a brand new work by David Lang.

Program Notes | ARS April 2019 Flyer

3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 28
Temple Emanu-El
225 N. Country Club

Please join us for a post concert reception.

A New Heaven – April 2019

The most sublime music for choir and organ, and choir alone, by Edgar Bainton, Herbert Howells and John Ireland, plus a Tucson premiere: The fruit of silence by Peteris Vasks, based on a text by Mother Theresa.

Program Notes | ARS April 2019 Flyer

4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 7
Episcopal Church of the Apostles
12111 N La Cholla Blvd, Oro Valley

3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14
Christ Church United Methodist
655 N. Craycroft Road

Please join us for a post-concert reception at each location.

Carols of Triumphant Joy! – December 2018

Concerts will include brand new choral music by Thomas Juneau, and Jonathan Dove’s thrilling “Seek him that maketh the seven stars.” We’ll also perform seasonal audience favorites like “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming” and “What sweeter music” by John Rutter.

  • “Wonderful performance – Beauty and discipline were combined to create excellence.”
  • “The selection of music was lovely. The usual high kudos to the choir and director for creating a stunning concert.”

Elliot Jones speaks with Andy Bade on Arizona Public Media’s Extempore.
Carols of Triumphant Joy Program Notes

7:30 p.m. Friday, December 7
Christ the King Episcopal Church
2800 W. Ina Road
Please join us for a reception immediately following the concert.

3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 9
Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
2331 E. Adams Street

7:30 p.m. Friday, December 14
St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
3738 N. Old Sabino Canyon Road
Please join us for a reception immediately following the concert.

4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 16 NEW TIME
Christ Church United Methodist
655 N. Craycroft Road

ADMISSION: $18 in advance, $20 at the door

Tickets are available online. Tickets are also available at the door or from an ARS member. All sales are final. Students admitted free.

Contact us for group ticket discounts – $15 each for groups of 10 or more.


King David – April 2018

King David an amazing finale to an amazing season!

What did concertgoers say about King David? “Beyond awesome”
“I loved everything! The story…the instrumentalists…the drama!”

Click to view King David photos


“A must for choral lovers.”
The Arizona Daily Star

KGUN Morning Blend: Tina Jennings interviews Music Director Elliot Jones and singer Robert Hanshaw

AZ Daily Star Calliente: Repertory Singers adding acting to ‘King David’ concert

AZ Public Media Extempore: Music Director Elliot Jones share his insights about Honneger’s King David with Andy Bade

King David Program Notes

In April 2018 we will present two performances of Arthur Honegger’s unique oratorio King David with chamber orchestra, vocal soloists, and guest narrator Grayson Hirst. The range of musical styles in this work is extraordinary – Gregorian chant, early 20th century modernist dissonance, and jazz. There are theatrical elements as well, including the off-stage voice of the Witch of Endor, and the character of David sung first by a boy soprano, and later by an adult tenor.

Download the King David Flyer

7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27
Catalina United Methodist Church
2700 E. Speedway Blvd.

3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 29
Temple Emanu-El
225 N Country Club Rd.