Welcome to Wings of Song!
Formerly Quinebaug Valley Singers
Wings of Song Presents “An American Christmas”
This December, Wings of Song—formerly the Quinebaug Valley Singers—inaugurates its new name with a program of American Christmas favorites from colonial times to the present. The chorus’s concerts will take place on Saturday, December 7 at 7:30pm at St. Joachim Chapel, St. Anne/St. Patrick Parish, Fiskdale (Sturbridge), just up from where routes 20 and 148 meet; and on Sunday, December 8 at 3:00pm at Elm Street Congregational Church, just outside the center of Southbridge. A freewill offering will be collected at both concerts; and, as always, the music will be followed by tons of yummy refreshments. Both venues are handicap accessible.
A huge variety of Christmas music will be on the chorus’s program—everything from 18th-century “fuging tune” settings of “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” to the original version of “Jingle Bells” (with a very different refrain from the one we’re used to) to an irresistibly jazzy “Sleigh Ride” to choral works for the season by three Wings of Songs members (Ted Bradley and Donna Dufresne of Pomfret, Conn., and Nym Cooke of Petersham, Mass.). Of course there will also be audience sing-alongs, and stellar keyboardist Brooks Milgate will surely be persuaded to tickle the ivories during intermission.
Music Director Cooke is excited about the level his chorus is reaching. “They’ve never sounded better,” he says, and adds, “They’re learning pieces faster and more solidly than ever. The musicianship of this group is steadily increasing. It helps that we have some high-caliber musicians in our ranks—professionals like Ted Bradley and Sarah Jo Burke and Terry McGinty. I know of at least five Wingers who write songs or compose choral music. That says something about where the chorus is at these days. And of course we continue to depend on our core cadre of regulars, some of whom have sung with the chorus for decades. Where would we be without them?” Cooke is interested in attracting more young singers to the chorus; three teenaged girls now sing with Wings of Song, and he’d like to see some boys sign on as well. "Homeschooled kids without access to school ensembles might especially want to consider joining," he says. Any musical individual who can sing in tune is welcome, from age 10 up.
Don’t miss this dynamic 55-member ensemble in its December performances! Because the chorus tends to sing to packed houses these days, plan to arrive early to be sure of a good seat. You’ll leave thoroughly imbued with the Christmas spirit—“maybe five different Christmas spirits,” Nym Cooke comments, “—the devotional spirit, the cozy spirit, the jolly spirit, the humorous spirit, and the meditative spirit.” All these will, indeed, be part of the show.
For more information on the concerts, or on joining Wings of Song (note that a special program about climate change, with projections, readings, and rock-band accompaniment, is planned for Spring 2020), contact Nym or WoS President KT Therrien (Nym is at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978 724 3438; KT is at email@example.com or 508 410 8575).