candle400The festivity of the Christmas season, both sacred and secular, is the musical theme of “What Cheer?” a concert by the Allan Hancock College Singers. The choir, directed by Hancock music faculty member Ann Lucas, will be at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Maria on Thursday December 3, at 7:30 p.m. The second concert will be in St Benedict’s on Saturday December 5 at 3 p.m.

Selections include an even-handed sampling of everything musically Christmas: plainchant, Renaissance-madrigal style, the English choral tradition, African-American gospel, and even a spoof on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” when love goes bad and gifts are not appreciated! Director Lucas has also tried her hand at arranging two carols for the choir that will bookend the concert, “Silent Night” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

The centerpiece of the concerts is a Christmas motet by the French Baroque composer MarcAntoine Charpentier, which will feature three solo voices, one of whom is Brian Spolarich, and a small string ensemble with keyboard. Several vocalists from the St Benedict Singers will join theHancock group as guests, including Caroline Hall, John Cribb, Brian Spolarich, Alan Kiste, Francis Rivinus, and Lorienne Schwenk.

Tickets are available in advance or at the door, and all seats, which are not reserved, are $8. Seating is limited.

We hope to see our members and friends for an afternoon of fine music, the best way to begin the preparation for the Christmas season.