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Classical 101

Columbus Concerts: It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

Phew! I'm just catching my breath after a fantastic few weeks of holiday concerts, performed by your friends and  neighbors in Central Ohio. Pride of Place goes to the Christmas program called "Peace" at Capital University.  A dear friend who is on the Capital music faculty tempted me with dinner and got me to one of the four performances in Mees Hall.I'm here to tell ya: Sensational. Lynda Hasseler, who it must be said knows how to dress and has the figure withal, put together a glorious program with choruses, instrumentalists, brass ensembles and your grandmother's kitchen sink. There was not an empty seat to be had. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJChpVqDFxw There was no weak link in the music making. I shall not soon forget the Men's Choir at Capital sing one of my favorites, the 16th century Spanish carol, E la don don.  (Put that on line, Lynda!) The Columbus Gay Men's Chorus held fourth at several area churches. I heard them at King Avenue United Methodist Church (with a music program not to be sneezed at) Music director Tim Sarsany balances brilliantly the purely sacred, festive and sacred, and low down (!) festive. CGMC has a new holiday CD on the market. Bravo! We have made good use of this new CD on Classical 101. This video is from 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6NUzCVSGXU Each year I especially look forward to Lessons and Carols at First Congregational Church. (Don't call this church the Congo Club) This was the first L&Cs conducted by new Minister of Music Kevin Jones. Nobody is more welcoming than the good folks at FCC. This year we were once again able to broadcast the service live. Lessons and Carols-2013 was a tighter service than usual, with more and better music making: bell ringers, children's choirs, young adult choirs, adult choir, Kevin Jones the mastermind and organist; Our own G. Dene Bernard, the Santa Claus of FCC music was  there in splendor. Columbus Symphony Holiday Pops -Ronald Jenkins conducts the orchestra and the all volunteer CSO Chorus; Elves, dancers, toy makers and big a bellied older man in red make an appearance. This annual event plays to the roof over three performances every year. The CSO could do this program a dozen times and still turn people away. Hear the 2013 edition broadcast on Classical 101, Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. Speaking of Ronald Jenkins, he conducted a splendid Benjamin Britten centennial concert at First Community Church last November 22. The Nutcracker, Ballet Met with the Columbus Symphony. There are two reasons why this spectacular is a favorite every December: It's family friendly and it s Ballet Met. I saw it in a crowded Ohio Theater, packed with children. The kids followed the story with appropriate audience participation. Artist Director Edwaard Liang is making his own mark on the company, and he will doubtless re fresh Nutcracker as well. Liang and Ballet Met make it a good time to be a dance aficionado in Columbus, and make it a good time to attend the ballet for the first time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzX6Ny3MTNM Lessons  and Carols at St. Joseph Cathedral.  Paul Thornock conducting the Cathedral Schola. This program was long on haunting medieval and renaissance motets-and a splendid performance of Mendelsohn's cantata Von Himmel Hoch. The choir was flawless. Not much ho-ho-ho! here but gorgeous music. Listen for some of this service on Music in Mid-Ohio. The new season begins at a new time, Sundays at 1 PM beginning June 1st. Two I missed but want to mention" The Little Match Girl with Columbus Dance Theater. And ProMuica's Messiah sing. Next year. I promise.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.