by Anura Guruge
>> 2014 ‘Italian’ rehearsal.
>> Clearlakes 2014 Italian Christmas II.
>> 2014 Christmas tree lighting.
>> 2013 Christmas tree lighting.
>> 2012 Christmas tree lighting.
>> Clearlakes Christmas 2014 ….
>> Spring 2014 Clearlakes virtuosismo.
>> Clearlakes 2013 Christmas: Stupendous.
>> French Christmas 2013 concert.
>> Our little Ad. for Clearlakes.
>> Spring 2012 Clearlakes Chorale concert.
Click to ENLARGE.
Sunday afternoon ahead of the concert.
The programme set out to be lively and the 76 voices and 16 piece orchestra hit the notes out of the church — Alton’s ten year old, aesthetically pleasing St. Katharine Drexel Church.
The notes soared. You could feel them rising and bouncing off the ceiling. You could feel Christmas. If you closed your eyes you could smell pine boughs and Christmas cake and that was even before they sang a stirring Italian version of “Deck the halls …”, Con i rami d’agrifoglio. It was a load of fun, superbly entertaining and inspiring. People left, both concerts, smiles on their faces bonhomie in their hearts. This is a wonderful prelude to Christmas.
Devanee, Sunday. Cropped from a telephoto shot of the whole Chorale.
Yes, of course, I am biased. Yes, Devanee, my 14 year old is in the choir. A sparano. The tall blonde, third from the left in the back row. She is the youngest of the bunch and this is her third year with Clearlakes. Yes, she started when she was 11! During that time, with two concert weekends per year. and practices every Thursday night other than in the Summer, Clearlakes has definitely become a major part of our life. Even in the Summer we have a lot of overlap of folks who also sing with with Great Waters. I was at both concerts, the Friday night rehearsal and the last practice on Thursday. So four days of it and I couldn’t get enough.
Given that I am in charge of the cooling, which means we keep all the windows open even in the winter, I knew that the sound of this gay concert floated out and drifted towards Toute 28. I wish I had a way to have made sure that folks passing by could have heard it. If they could they would have stopped. This was not your common or garden music you associate or expect in rural New Hampshire. The Sunday’s performance, with the church packed, further enhancing the acoustics, was as good as what you would see around Christmas on PBS! I was proud to be associated with this class, extremely convivial outfit. At the intermission, in between adjusting the window openings and going downstairs to check on status I was talking to a well-heeled professional from Wolfeboro. He was saying that he is sued to going with his wife to Boston to get culture but this was as good as anything he would expect to hear in Boston. I concurred.
Really not more that I can say without sounding trite. The Spring concert is in May, May 9 & 10, 2015, and you should mark it on your calendar. Stravinsky, ‘Symphony of Psalms’. I will get a preview in mid-January. That is when the Thursday practices will begin. I will keep you posted.
It was a hectic but delightful weekend for us. Devanee and I went to the traditional, after-concert/Christmas party at a very elegant (and historic) house in Wolfeboro. We could have stayed there a long time, but I had promised Teischan that we would get our two Christmas trees this weekend. So at 7pm we were cresting Prospect Mountain Road headed to Walmart in Rochester. By 8:30 I had two trees, in their stands, watered and in place. So both kids are happy.
Sunday afternoon pre-concert ‘warm-up’ and photo op. I took the two official pictures for the Chorale using an elaborate Nikon belonging to a member. These shots are with my cheap T3i.