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Christmas a cappella
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Christmas a cappella
Chicago a cappella
Cedille Records CDR 90000 107

"More fun than human beings should be allowed" is how contemporary music web site described Chicago a cappella's 2005 debut on Cedille Records. The American Organist calls the nine-member mixed vocal ensemble "a jewel in the crown of Chicago's musical life." The Chicago Sun-Times says, "This ensemble embraces a musical challenge as if it were a box of Godiva chocolates."

Chicago a cappella returns to disc with Christmas a cappella: Songs From Around the World, a sparkling selection of seasonal songs by contemporary composers and arrangers, including seven world premieres.

Works include two lively African settings (in African languages) of the biblical passage "For unto us a child is born," delightful treatments of traditional French and French-Canadian carols, a unique Danish take on the Christmas story, distinctive works by leading American composers including Stephen Paulus (Splendid Jewel) and Gwyneth Walker (The Christ-child's Lullaby), and James Clemens' brilliant, jazz-inflected arrangement, Jingle a cappella, centered around a wild fugue in 7/8 time! The disc also presents two pieces based on Hebrew texts: Aleih Neiri, a Hanukkah song by Yemen-born Jewish composer Chaim Parchi, and multiple award-winning young composer Stacy Garrop's poignant prayer for peace, Lo Yisa Goy.

In a season brimming with holiday music, Chicago a cappella's new CD stands apart as a jewel of imaginative programming and passionate performances that please the ear and penetrate the heart.
These are moving, superbly sung performances of beautiful music... This production is first rate in every way, more than worthy of Cedille's high standards. The singing is polished, committed, and fresh; the recorded sound... is rich, full and spacious... and the album booklet... is a model of what one should be. — American Record Guide
Click here to download the CD booklet.

Click the Cedille Player at the upper left to hear excerpts from the tracks highlighted in red below. These have been carefully chosen as representative of the recording program.

PROGRAM (64:10)

1. Christian Onyeji: Amuworo ayi otu nwa (2:50)

2. Wayland Rogers: What Sweeter Music* (6:50)

3. arr. J. David Moore: II est né le divin Enfant (2:41)
Soloists: Harold Brock, Kathryn Kamp, Michael Boschert

4. arr. Eleanor Daley: The Huron Carol (2:59)
Soloist: Michael Boschert

5. John Jacob Niles (arr. Steve Pilkington): I Wonder as I Wander* (3:22)
Soloist: Cary Plachy

6. Stephen Paulus: Splendid Jewel (3:26)

7. Stacy Garrop: Lo Yisa Goy* (5:05)
Soloist: Harold Brock

8. Rosephanye Powell: Who is the baby?* (2:36)

9. Gwyneth Walker: The Christ-child’s Lullaby (5:43)
Soloist: Elizabeth Grizzell

10. arr. Jerry J. Troxell: O Come, O Come Emmanuel* (1:33)

11. arr. Ian Humphris: Noel nouvelet (2:01)
Soloist: Cary Plachy

12. Richard Proulx: Prayer of the Venerable Bede (2:37)
Soloist: Susan Schober

13. Per Nergard: En stjerne er sat (2:29)
Soloists: Kathryn Kamp, Susan Schober

14. Carol Barnett: Hodie* (3:55)

15. Enrico Oweggi: Nyathi Onyuol (3:48)

16. Chaim Parchi (arr. Joshua Jacobson): Aleih Neiri (3:55)
Soloist: Susan Schober

17. arr. James Clemens: Jingle a cappella* (3:58)
Soloist: Cary Lovett

18. Howard Helvey: O Lux Beatissima (3:03)

*World Premiere Recording

Chicago a cappella
Jonathan Miller, Founder and Artistic Director
Patrick Sinozich, Music Director
Kathryn Kamp, soprano
Cari Plachy, soprano
Elizabeth Grizzell, mezzo-soprano
Susan Schober, mezzo-soprano
Harold Brock, tenor
Cary Lovett, tenor
Michael Boschert, baritone
Matthew Greenberg, baritone
Benjamin Rivera, bass

The participation of the artists in this recording was underwritten through the generosity of the Hyslop Shannon Foundation.

Producers: Patrick Sinozich and James Ginsburg / Engineer: Bill Maylone / Graphic Design: Melanie Germond / Cover Photo: Christmas Ornament in Window © William Whitehurst/CORBIS / Back Cover Photo: Chicago a cappella © Dan Rest / Recorded February 21; March 14-15; and April 15-16, and 23, 2008, in Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago