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Raising their voice in song

It’s definitely the Christmas season as the Bel Canto Singers(BCS)under the direction of Eldridge McPhee presents its 2010 Christmastide performance at St. Andrew’s The Kirk on Saturday, December 4 and Sunday, December 5. The concert is one of the festivities that observes the 200th anniversary of St. Andrew’s, The Kirk.

As he directs the vocal ensemble of 16 singers, McPhee is again about to fulfill another one of his visions which is to bring a consortium of music to the Bahamian stage. When the evening opens, the audience will be thrilled with a rendition of”Glory to God”by modern composer, Ron Nelson. From Bach’s Magnificat, the”Suscepit Israel”is nothing short of an angelic interpretation of the birth of Christ. Throughout the evening concert-goers will hear renditions of traditional carols from England, France and Poland including the holiday classic”Many Moods of Christmas, Suite II.”Further, they will hear beautiful six and eight-part arrangements of well known carols that will highlight the rich and robust singing style that Bel Canto has become known for executing.

McPhee is pleased to present American soprano, Kali Wilder, and the string ensemble”Strings n Tings”as a part of the Christmastide performance.

Dionne Cunningham, an accomplished and lettered musician, who is quickly making a name for himself, will accompany the group. Cunningham will transport the audience to a musical winter wonderland with his piano excerpts of Peter Tchaikovsky’s,”The Nutcracker Suite”.

“For the past five years, I have been realizing my vision to work with individuals, through musical productions, to have an impact on the lives of our members thereby impacting their communities,” said McPhee.”The mark of a good leader is one who is disciplined, and after having studied music for some 35 years, I know that talent and discipline create success. This formula is not unique to music.”

International performing artist Lee B. Callender, pianist–vocal and piano coach said”Bel Canto exemplifies its Italian name,”beautiful singing”at its best. This group with its rich full-bodied expressive sound is a delight to the ear. An exhilarating, captivating listening experience.”

Bel Canto Singers, through its annual production of Christmastide has raised more than$45,000 net for charities including The AIDS Foundation over the past four yuletide seasons.

“I have seen BCS members grow as musicians as well as husbands, wives, partners and parents. More importantly, I have seen members of this group come to learn and to understand what it means to become points of light in their workplaces, churches, civic organizations and at play.”

The two-night event takes place on Saturday, December 4(gala night)at 7:15 p.m. for 8:15 p.m. and Sunday, December 5 at 6 pm. Gala night tickets are$75 and include a concert, silent auction and full buffet reception. Sunday’s concert is$25. This year’s concerts are held under the Patronage of Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes and Lady Foulkes.

The concert will be recorded as the group endeavors to reach more persons through the sale of compact discs(CDs). The event promises to be an enjoyable mixture of yuletide music from various countries and periods. For tickets or further information call 431-6440.

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