For the holiday season, there’s more than just the typical Christmas carols in Montclair. Stop by the Montclair Presbyterian Church for some nice and peaceful Gregorian chants, too.
The Women’s Antique Vocal Ensemble (WAVE) will be the featured group tomorrow night. WAVE consists of 14 singers who perform authentic music from the medieval, baroque and renaissance periods. They first met nine years ago, after discovering their mutual love of this music through the San Francisco Early Music Society (SFEMS).
On Friday, WAVE will also join forces with Catholic seminarians from St. Albert’s Priory in Rockridge. This priory is a Dominican training ground, with students living at the school. Since they participate in active prayers, Gregorian chants are quite familiar to the students – and their Schola Cantorum group will appear in Montclair.
During this concert, both women and men will sing or chant plenty of traditional music. WAVE says they plan to “perform Gregorian chant from the 9th century and music by Plummer, Monteverdi, Costeley, Hassler, Menotti, Ramirez, Niles, and Rutter as well as traditional Christmas carols.” Whoever they are.
To me, choral music ushers in the holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. You don’t have to be an ancient music aficionado to bask in the glow of nice a cappella voices. I’m sure you will recognize a few tunes along the way, anyway.
To recap: The Shepherds Arise! concert takes place on Friday at 8pm, at the Montclair Presbyterian Church (5701 Thornhill Drive, map). While admission runs $15 per adult and $5 per student/senior, this is a special Christmas concert that should be very relaxing.