The annual holiday concert of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus has long been considered a hallmark of the season and a “top pick” of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. As part of the AGMC’s 32nd season presented by producing sponsor Atlanta Magazine, for three performances on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8 the respected men’s chorus will be joined by special guest Megan Mashburn, soprano, in a truly entertaining musical celebration for all ages. Tickets are now available online.
As it has since the late 1990s, the AGMC holiday concert — this year titled “And on Earth, Peace” — will be presented in The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW in Atlanta’s Buckhead community. The South’s largest Episcopal cathedral, the church continues to be the perfect venue for this moving and joyous holiday celebration.
“The Cathedral itself must be considered one of the recurring ‘guest stars’ of our December holiday concert,” said Kevin Robison, now in his sixth year as the AGMC’s artistic director. “Its reverent beauty and ringing acoustics greatly add to the experience for both our audiences and the chorus itself. We feel extremely privileged to be invited back year after year.”
The concert will feature a number of special arrangements of familiar holiday tunes, from a gospel version of “O Holy Night” to a lively “Deck the Hall,” the Spanish carol “A la nanita nana,” the wistful “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” and the famous 1977 “Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth” duet of two generations of musical superstars, Bing Crosby and David Bowie. (See the video on YouTube.)
Among the many other unique pieces to be performed are an arrangement celebrating the music of Hanukkah, performed by Panache, the chorus’ select ensemble; the haunting beautiful poem “Evergreen” set to music by Daniel Pinkham, featuring a shimmering soundtrack created by the celebrated composer during a brief period of experimentation with electronic music; a stunning “Lux Aurumque;” and a dynamic, rhythmic “Variations on Jingle Bells.”
The concert closes with a new setting of “Joy to the World” by Robison with additional lyrics that perfectly fit the concert’s focus on peace on Earth.
“It is always an appropriate time to sing about and celebrate the promise of joy to the world and goodwill to all persons,” Robison said. “But perhaps it’s especially important to sing these universal messages of hope during an election year, where the volume of the rhetoric can get in the way of reminding us all of what we most desire — peace.”
The AGMC is pleased to welcome soprano Megan Mashburn for “And on Earth, Peace.” Already compiling an impressive list of credentials, the vivacious and talented local performer is a member of the highly acclaimed Atlanta Opera Chorus and frequently represents The Atlanta Opera in community education and outreach activities.
Proclaimed by The Boston Globe as performing with “simplicity and charm” in her Boston Symphony Hall debut of Haydn’s “Creation,” recently she was the soloist in Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” at Emory University, and soprano soloist in Clemson University’s presentation of Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass.”
The recipient of a Master of Arts in Vocal Performance from Boston University, Mashburn is staff soprano soloist at Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
Another annual AGMC holiday tradition returns again this year — the free ice cream social following the 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, accompanied by group-friendly matinee prices that enable the entire family to attend. As in years past, the social is graciously provided by the Zweifel Law Firm and Peachtree Battle Chiropractic.
Just in time for the concert — and holiday gift-giving — the chorus will release a new professional recording of its greatest live performances at The Cathedral from recent years. The 15-track recording, featuring outstanding performances of “Silver Bells,” “Deck the Hall,” “Ave Maria” and other audience favorites, will also be available in MP3 format from the chorus website and Apple’s iTunes Store.
“This concert brings together exceptional arrangements of classic holiday music and the beautiful sounds of our guest soprano and instrumentalists in the exquisite setting of The Cathedral of St. Philip. It’s a perfect combination to launch anyone’s holiday festivities, and is the AGMC’s annual ‘gift’ to the community,” Robison said. “This is probably our most family-friendly holiday concert yet, and we hope that families of all shapes and sizes will join us in this celebration.”
Subscribers to the AGMC’s three-concert main season receive the best seats in their chosen section for each concert, along with discounts for later purchase of additional tickets. To purchase season subscriptions or holiday concert tickets today, call (404) 320-1030 or buy online through the AGMC website.
Established in 1981 and today one of the world’s longest-running all-male choruses, the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus presents entertaining and thought-provoking performances that appeal to a diverse audience, create a positive image of the LGBTQ community, and promote equality for all persons.
The chorus is a member of GALA, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses, and Chorus America, a 1,600-member non-profit organization that foster the chorus music experience in the U.S.
The chorus is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The GCA also receives support from its partner agency, the National Endowment for the Arts. Other support comes from the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. The AGMC’s 32nd season is produced by Atlanta Magazine. Other supporting organizations include Macy’s, PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP), St. Mark United Methodist Church, Brandon D Hunt Design, Dan Lax Media, Administrivia, and Peachtree Battle Chiropractic.
A complete listing of financial supporters — and how you can support the mission of the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus — can be found on agmchorus.org. For more information on the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus, see the website or call the chorus office at (404) 320-1030.