22nd Season Opens with a Sparkler

Karen Schuesseler Singers presents MagnificatOur 22nd season opens on November 22 with John Rutter’s exuberant Magnificat. We will be joined by acclaimed London soprano, Sonja Gustafson, a harpist and an orchestral ensemble comprised of some of the area’s leading musicians. Working with my colleagues is always a special joy for me.

The Magnificat, or Song of Mary, is a canticle (song) in the New Testament. Mary sings it as narrated in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 1:39–56) when she tells her cousin, Elizabeth, that she will have a very special child.

One reason I love the Magnificat is because it was the song of a young woman, Mary, to whom a very great and wondrous thing was about to happen. It is a clear manifesto of social justice and equality. It was sung by a woman, who knew injustice and inequality, not just of social class, but of gender. It is a song of praise, thanksgiving, hope, affirmation and joy that bursts forth. I resonate with and respond to the spontaneous passion of it.

The text is the perfect precursor to the holiday message of ‘peace on earth, goodwill to all’. Rutter’s treatment of this text is unique, in that he portrays the excitement and party atmosphere of the Latin American countries when Mary is celebrated.

On this concert we will also be singing another Magnificat by C. T. Pachelbel, Johann’s son who emigrated to South Carolina in the American colonies. It is for double choir. In this performance the second choir will be performed by a wind ensemble, giving this piece a sparkling colour as well. Gabriel to Mary Came arranged by Willcocks, the lustrous Ave Maria for double choir by Franz Biebl, and the deeply moving O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen will further portray the message of miracle at this time.

Sonja GustafsonWe are greatly looking forward to having soprano Sonja Gustafson join us for this concert. Her beautiful voice and captivating presence are the perfect medium for the ethereal nature of this music, the warmth of the message and the sizzle of a Latino street party.

We will present Magnificat on Saturday, November 22 at 8:00 pm, at Wesley-Knox United Church, 91 Askin Street, London. Tickets and more details are available at www.kssingers.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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