20th Anniversary Christmas Concerts 2016

Con Brio’s Celebrated Christmas Concerts, with Con Brio Choral Society, Con Brio Festival Orchestra and Guest Soloists Terrence Fay, Tenor, and Christopher Grundy, Bass, conducted by Dr. Stephen Bruce 

Two performances both at Christ the King Church, Old Lyme CT: Friday December 9 at 8 pm and Sunday December 11 at 3 pm.

Terrence Fay headshot

Tenor Soloist Terrence Fay


Bass Soloist Christopher Grundy

  • Christmas Oratorio, (selections) BWV 248, J.S.Bach. Soloists: Terrence Fay and Christopher Grundy
  • Masters in This Hall, arr. Wilberg
  • I Saw Three Ships, arr. Reise
  • A Choral Fantasy: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen arr. Reise
  •  Im Advent and Weinachten: (5 and 1 of Sechs Sprüche, Op 79) Mendelssohn
  • Gloria from the Mass in Eb Op 109, Rheinberger
  • Winter, Stroope
  • He Is Born! arr. Forrest
  • What Child Is This? arr. Halley
  • A Musicological journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas, Courtney
  • Joy to the World, arr. Wilberg

Plus favorite Christmas Carols with Chorus, Orchestra, Soloists and audience participation

Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, is celebrating its 20th birthday! This 20-yearyear Con Brio remembers its past with much loved pieces and looks forward with new ones to the years to come.

The opening chorus of the Christmas Concert’s featured work, J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, includes the words: Cease to be fearful, forget lamentation, Haste with thanksgiving to greet this glad morn! And indeed Con Brio will!

Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce, the Con Brio Choral Society, Con Brio Festival Orchestra, soloists: Terrence Fay, tenor and Christopher Grundy, bass, promise an unforgettable concert. In the beautiful sanctuary of Christ the King Church in Old Lyme on Dec. 9 and 11, Con Brio will lift your hearts, and together, the Chorus, Orchestra, Soloists and Audience will fill the church with glorious Christmas music!

Con Brio opens this year’s concert with one of the most celebrated Christmas pieces, performing portions of J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, first performed over the six weeks of the Christmas season in 1734. Con Brio will present several of the well-known choruses; several chorales, (prototype of the Lutheran hymn); as well as the famous aria, Mighty Lord.

Among the variety of familiar and new pieces celebrating the season is Mark Reise’s arrangement of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen followed by its companion piece, I Saw Three Ships. Con Brio’s by now traditional practice of singing “in the round” will this year feature the Gloria from Rheinberger’s Mass in E-flat, the Kyrie of which moved audiences several years ago. Two of the Sechs Sprüche of Mendelssohn will be followed by three new arrangements of familiar melodies: Forrest’s He is Born, Halley’s What Child is This? and Wilberg’s Masters in This Hall. Z. Randall Stroope’s powerfully moving Winter, first introduced to audiences a few years ago, is followed by Courtney’s highly entertaining and witty Musicological Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas. As always there will be familiar Christmas carols for the audience to sing: We Three Kings and Joy to the World.

In addition to Con Brio’s two Christmas performances, the Spring Concert offers the opportunity to hear the magnificent Beethoven Mass in C and Patricia Schuman sing, once again, perhaps Con Brio’s most popular piece: The Easter Hymn.

Con Brio thanks its loyal audience members, sponsors and advertisers, for faithful support over twenty years!

Program notes courtesy of Rev. Dr. Eileen Sypher.