MASON CITY — The Mason City High School Vocal Music Department will present its 90th annual Winter Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, in the North Iowa Community Auditorium on the NIACC campus.

More than 300 students will perform a variety of seasonal multicultural music from around the world. The ensembles are conducted by Joel Everist along with Sarah Bouska, and feature collaborative pianist Rachel Everist.

Admission is free and all members of the community are welcome. Seating is limited so arriving early is recommended.

The Mixed Chorus, a ninth-12th-grade choir, will begin the evening with “Alleluia Incantation,” continue with “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” and “Christmas, In About Three Minutes,” a medley of favorites. Their final selection, “Give Us Hope,” is a new "world music" piece.

The Varsity Choir, an auditioned ensemble of sophomores, juniors and seniors, will open with “Crown Him Kings of Kings,” a classic by J.S. Bach, and the contemporary “By Candlelight.” It continues with “Jamaican Noel,” a Caribbean number, and closes with the gospel tune “Make A Joyful Noise.”

The Concert Choir, which will perform at the Choirs of America Nationals in Carnegie Hall this spring, will conclude the evening.

It begins with a processional through the auditorium on “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” paired with the anthem “Let All The World In Every Corner Sing.” It continues with the Russian masterpiece “Salvation Is Created,” followed by “Glow,” a new selection from Eric Whitacre.

Their next piece, “I Am Not Yours,” is written by world-renowned composer Z. Randall Stroope, who will work with MCHS on a world-premiere in New York City. The choir closes with “Betlehemu,” a West African selection sung in Yoruba.

The grand finale will unite all of the choirs with the stirring “Hope For Resolution,” which combines a European chant melody and an anti-apartheid song from South Africa as a celebration of diversity. The arrangement reflects respect for divergent musical styles and portrays humankind’s innate potential for peaceful co-existence.

“This concert has become an event the community looks forward to every year,” said Joel Everist, director of choral activities for Mason City Community Schools.

The choirs are partnering with Carlos O’Kelly’s after the concert. A percentage of all sales at the restaurant on Friday, Dec. 16, will go toward the MCHS Vocal Music Department scholarship fund.

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