Performances in 2014

Carols for Christmastide
Time: December 14, 2014, 5pm
Location: Catholic Church St. Valentin, Kirchenstraße 5, 66851 Bann
Bann

The main performance piece in this year’s Christmas concert program was “Birth of Christ”, the first part of the unfinished oratorio “Christus” by Felix Mendelssohn. In addition, we presented Carols for Christmastide from England, France, Germany, Spain, and USA for a fully packed St. Valentin’s Church in Bann. The choir was accompanied by pianist Elisabeth Ramirez and musically supported by a chamber orchestra that was especially formed for this event and had the following members: Carolyn Sierichs (flute), Chantelle Friedmann (clarinette), Justin Hummer (oboe), Chris Jackson (bassoon), Will McCrary & Matt Kirkpatrick (trumpets), Zsuzsanna Przyzycki (1st violin), Deven Diaz (2nd violin), Cornelia Ebert (viola), Alexander Krampe (cello), and Dorothee Schmitt (bass). In addition, the program was enriched by the Ramstein Liturgical Bell Choir.

Poster

This was the program order of the concert:

  • Masters In This Hall - Mark Hayes
  • Noel, Sing Noel - Arr. Audrey Snyder
  • Marche des Rois (Arlesienne) - George Bizet
  • Ya Viene La Vieja - andalusian carol
  • I Wonder As I Wander - Arr. Ruth Elaine Schram
  • Gesù Bambino - Pietro A. Yon/Frederick H. Martens
  • Ramstein Liturgical Handbell Choir:
    • Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
    • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Blackbirds Chamber Choir:
    • Jesus Christ, the Apple Tree - Elizabeth Polston, Arr.: Carl Schalk
    • Carol of the Bells - M. Leontovich, Arr.: P.J. Wilhousky
    • The Holly and the Ivy - trad., Arr.: Kirby Shaw
  • Ave Maria - Franz Biebl
  • Geburt Christi (from “Christus”) - Felix Mendelssohn
    1. Als Jesus geboren ward
    2. Wo ist der neugeborene König
    3. Es wird ein Stern aus Jakob aufgehn
  • Christmas Day - Gustav Holst
  • O Jesulein Süß - Max Reger
  • Deutsche Weihnachtslieder - Arr.: S. Strickland, C. Anderson
  • (We Wish You) A Merry Christmas - Arr.: Arthur Warrell
  • This Christmastide (Jessye’s Carol) - Donald Fraser
  • Jingle Bells (encore)
USAFE Band Christmas Concert
Time: December 12, 2014, 8pm
Location: Fruchthalle, Fruchthallstraße 10, 67655 Kaiserslautern
Fruchthalle

The concert of the USAFE Band in the Fruchthalle Kaiserslautern was a highlight of the Kaiserslautern Christmas concert season. Like every year, it was a great pleasure and honor for the choir to participate in this concert event and present selected songs of our Christmas program. In a review by the local Rheinpfalz newspaper (see here for a translation), the choir was lauded for presenting “a broad musical palette of Christmas chorals that often got under one’s skin”.

The following pieces were performed by the choir, some of them together with the USAFE Band:

  • Christmas Day - Gustav Holst
  • Es wird ein Stern aus Jakob aufgehn (from “Christus”) - Felix Mendelssohn
  • This Christmastide (Jessye’s Carol) - Donald Fraser
  • Masters In This Hall - Mark Hayes
  • Sleigh Ride - Anderson/Lewis
  • Marche des Rois (Arlesienne) - George Bizet
  • O Jesulein süß - Max Reger
  • A Christmas Celebration
  • Deutsche Weihnachtslieder - Arr.: S. Strickland, C. Anderson
  • (We Wish You) A Merry Christmas - Arr.: Arthur Warrell
Blackbirds - Songs of the Season
Time: 5. December 2014, 7pm
Location: ASZ Christmas Market, Pfaffstr. 3, 67655 Kaiserslautern

The “Blackbirds” are a chamber choir consisting of members of the big choir. The following pieces were included in our 30-minute program for the advent times:

  • Deutsche Weihnachtslieder - Arr.: S. Strickland, C. Anderson
  • A Christmas Celebration
  • Carol of the Bells - M. Leontovich, Satz: P.J. Wilhousky
  • The Holly and the Ivy - trad., Arr.: Kirby Shaw
  • Deck the Halls - trad.
  • Hark! the Herald Angels Sing - F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
  • O Jesulein Süß - Arr.: Max Reger
  • (We Wish You) A Nerry Christmas - Arr.: Arthur Warrell
Deep River - Songs of Spring
Time: May 17, 2014, 7pm
Location: Deutschordensaal, Am Altenhof 12, 67655 Kaiserslautern
Time: May 18, 2014, 7pm
Location: Catholic Church St. Michael, Erzhütter Straße 105, 67659 Kaiserslautern
Erzhütten

“Deep River” is not only the title of a song, but also the motto of the program we performed. The “water” and “river” theme can be found in many of the pieces we performed at our May concerts, together with a chamber orchestra assembled specifically for these concerts. Many German folk songs pick up the theme, starting with the water mill in Eichendorffs “In An Airy Hollow (In einem kühlen Grunde)” and “When All The Fountains Are Flowing (Wenn alle Brünnlein fließen)”, or the snow melting in Mendelssohns “May Song (Mailied)”. But not only German songs pick up the water theme. Gwyneth Walker, a contemporary American composer, has created a new arrangement of the Spiritual “Deep River”. “The Water is Wide”, arranged by Craig Hella Johnson, is also based on an old American tune. And from Scotland comes the well-known folk song “Loch Lomond”. The centerpiece of this years Spring concerts was Mozarts „Te Deum Laudamus“ (KV 141).

The program included the following pieces:

  • Te Deum - W.A.Mozart
  • Mailied - Felix Mendelssohn
  • In einem kühlen Grunde - Eichendorff/Glück (Arr.:Max Reger)
  • Wenn alle Brünnlein fließen - Arr.: Helmut Barbe
  • The Water Is Wide - Arr.: Craig Hella Johnson
  • Loch Lomond - Arr.: David Lantz III
  • Wade in the Water - Arr.: Bob Burroughs
  • Jonah - Rollo A. Dilwort (Blackbirds - Chamber Choir)
  • Super Flumina Babylonis - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (Blackbirds - Chamber Choir)
  • Spinning Song - Albert Elmenreich, Arr.: Greg Gilpin (Blackbirds - Chamber Choir)
  • Ani Ma’amin - Traditional, Arr.: John Leavitt
  • Ose Shalom- Arr.: John Leavitt
  • Deep River - Gwyneth Walker
  • Keep Your Lamps! - Arr.: Andre Thomas
  • Zugabe: Als wir jüngst in Regensburg waren - Arr: G.M. Göttsche

The Rheinpfalz newspaper lauded the concert in the Deutschordensaal as diversified and masterful in the article “Sparkling Melodies Around Water”.

The following musicians supported us in our concert:

  • Piano: Suann Strickland
  • Violins: Deven Diaz, Florian Gießing, Susanne Kemmner, Zsuzsanna Przyzycki, Elisabeth Ramirez, Svenja Vollmar, Regina Weimer
  • Celli: Leonie Baumann, Alexander Krampe, Christine Rutz
  • Bass: Holger Stodtmeister
  • Clarinette: Michael Lill
  • Trombones: Marcus Weimer, Patrick Casey
  • Flute: Anna Jackson
  • Timpani: Andreas Zimnol
  • Trumpets: Will McCrary, Matt Kirkpatrick
Holocaust Memorial Service
Time: April 25, 2014, 10am
Location: Hercules Theater, Ramstein Air Base

The choir was invited to a musical contribution at the Holocaust Memorial Service. We performed the following pieces:

  • Ani Ma’amin - Traditional, Arr.: John Leavitt
  • Ose Shalom- Arr.: John Leavitt
  • Let There Be Peace On Earth - Sy Miller & Jill Jackson, Arr.: TSgt. Larry MacTaggert
Spring Concert (Blackbirds)
Time: April 16, 2014, 6pm
Location: Library at Ramstein Air Base

Our chamber choir, the “Blackbirds” gave a spring concert in the Library of the Air Base. The program consisted of the following songs:

  • Mailied - Felix Mendelssohn
  • In einem kühlen Grunde - Eichendorff/Glück (Arr.:Max Reger)
  • Wade in the Water - Arr.: Bob Burroughs
  • Super Flumina Babylonis - Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
  • Blackbird - John Lennon/Paul McCartney, Arr.: Daryl Runswick
  • Spinning Song - Albert Elmenreich, Arr.: Greg Gilpin
  • Keep Your Lamps! - Arr.: Andre Thomas
  • Als wir jüngst in Regensburg waren - Arr: G.M. Göttsche