Saturday, December 21, 2019 — The Klein Memorial Auditorium


Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, sung by the Fairfield County Children’s Choir and the Connecticut Chamber Choir set the mood for this holiday extravaganza, December 21 at The Klein.  Maestro Eric Jacobsen led GBS in a festive program of classics mixed with new compositions, and singalong favorites.  

A large audience enjoyed a wonderful range of music. In keeping with the season theme — The Evolution of Music — this concert brought Bach together with a living composer (Kirke Mechem) who found his musical inspiration in Bach.  

A highlight of the evening was violin virtuoso Cameron Chase, co-winner of the 2019 GBS Young Instrumentalists’ Competition, who thrilled the audience with two concerti from The Four Seasons, appropriate to “Solstice” — Winter and Summer.  Said one musicologist who attended, “I’ve never heard Winter performed so beautifully.”

GBS premiered the orchestrated version of Midwintersong by Liam Robinson (of Hadestown fame), who was on hand for the performance.  Caroling, led by the 92 choir members, brought a festive finsh to the performance.  Lots of smiling faces going out into the first night of winter!

GBS was pleased to have many Bridgeport elementary school students on hand, made possible by a grant from the City.  This concert was proudly sponsored by People’s United Bank.

The Program
Christmas Oratorio (1734)        

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
BWV 248, Part 2

The Seven Joys of Christmas (1964)    

Kirke Mechem (b. 1925)
Fairfield County Children’s Choir, John Noyes, Director
Connecticut Chamber Choir, Michael Ciavaglia, Artistic Director

The Four Seasons (1717)        

Antonin Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Winter & Summer

Cameron Chase, violin
Co-Winner of the GBS 2019 Young Instrumentalist Competition

Midwintersong (2019)            

Liam Robinson (b. 1982)

Responses from the Audience
What a wonderful Solstice Program.  Jeff Johnson's pre-concert lecture was very helpful in appreciating fully the program.


It was our first time at GBS and we thoroughly enjoyed the concert, especially the incredible(!)  young soloist and the guest choruses.  We will be back!

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening, especially the unique musicality of the Conductor’s friend [Liam Robinson] along with the story he told about he and his wife’s process to create the piece.  Your conductor is one of the most dynamic, effective, fascinating to watch I’ve seen. May he be with [the GBS] for a long time.

We really enjoy when choirs and opera singers join the wonderful symphony!

Great collaboration with area schools! Cameron Chase was phenomenal! Midwintersong was a great debut for the season and for years to come. Kudos to Maestro for his contacts in the industry to make our eponymous GBS artists even more inspiring!

It was a marvelous concert.  We enjoyed it thoroughly.

Young Cameron is a magical and talented young man!  Great evening!

Program Notes
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