REVIEW: Schola Cantorum performs music for the 'best time of year'

Schola Cantorum

Members of Schola Cantorum (Latin for “school of singing”) perform one of their 2012 Christmas concerts at First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Friday, December 21, 2012 at 02:14 PM.

There were the balance of the cards to be written, gingerbread cookies to bake and ice, the rest of the outdoor lights to clip up (memo to self: swing by a stationer’s and get more binder clips) and a box that had been gathering Christmas presents all year to be got down from the attic and its contents wrapped.

So instead I took the evening off and, in addition to enjoying the music of Sax to the Max at the library, wallowed in the sheer pleasure of the glorious voices of Schola Cantorum.

Concerts such as those presented Monday night by the four brilliant young saxophonists from the Crestview High band and the 11 trained vocalists of Schola Cantorum (“school of singing”) are the perfect antidotes to the holiday hustle and bustle that make so many people grumpy this time of year.

Taking a breather from “obligations” to pause and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas is reinvigorating. It helps put into proper perspective the busy bother we think is important, but which usually never fails to overshadow the part of the Advent season that actually is important. An evening of uplifting music helps tremendously.

Schola director Dr. John Leatherwood led his chorus through a diverse program titled “The Very Best Time of Year” featuring a baker’s dozen of traditional, familiar and classic selections.

“We’ll sing some things you have heard before, and some things you may never have heard before and you’ll probably never hear again,” he promised at the start of the concert.

Standouts include the lilting “Gentle Mary” and the “Wexford Carol,” the latter featuring a beautiful solo by Sara Florence.

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