Ringing In The Season

The holiday season brings a wealth of musical experiences to area audiences, and some of those performances continue today.

Among the uplifting offerings this season were the Bookends by Bach concerts presented by West Liberty University’s music department at Vance Memorial Presbyterian Church in Wheeling last Sunday afternoon and evening, Dec. 8. The excellent performances capped off the distinguished career of conductor Alfred de Jaager, who has been a professor of music and director of choirs at West Liberty for an amazing 47 years.

Accompanied by orchestra, West Liberty’s concert choir and the parish choir of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Wheeling, performed two Bach cantatas during the identical programs. Bookending the Bach works was a presentation of carols sung by West Liberty’s concert choir and chorus, augmented by members of Wheeling Park High School’s chorus.

Continuing on a musical note, audience members were praising an Irish Christmas concert performed by Emmy- and Grammy-winning artist Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad, at Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum Thursday, Dec. 12. Brennan is the sister of internationally-known recording artist Enya.

Wheeling Jesuit University’s singers were in the spotlight for the choir’s traditional Christmas concert at St. Michael Catholic Church in Wheeling Friday, Dec. 6. A light snow falling that evening added to the seasonal ambiance. Wheeling Jesuit instrumentalists were featured in a band concert on campus Sunday, Dec. 8.

Meanwhile, music lovers’ last opportunity to hear the 2013 edition of Wheeling Park High School’s Festival of Sound occurs at the school’s J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m. today, Dec. 15. It may be possible to purchase tickets at the door, although there is no guarantee that tickets will still be available.

Another musical option is the Christmas Caril Fest at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 1410 Chapline St., Wheeling, at 3 p.m. today, Dec. 15. The fun-filled, free event features vocalist Sue Pettit, organist Robert Troeger and special guest performers.