2008 Press Archives

Weekender: Sounds

True Christmas spirit is rekindled in Princeton choir album

Date published: 12/11/2008


Christmas music has developed a bad reputation. Through years of commercial use, tunes of the season have become the voice of temptation, luring us to buy more so that we all receive more. However, there is a purer side that exists in the Christmas genre: choir music.

If manufactured carols embody the season of receiving, then Christmas choirs sing only of giving; and no other melodies have given more this year than those on the "A Princeton Christmas: For the Children of Africa, Vol. 2" album.

The album is a collection of pieces performed by multiple student choral groups from the Princeton University community. In the true spirit of the holiday, any proceeds made from the album will help the World Food Program feed sub-Saharan Africa.

The album begins with a light, gentle rendition of "Hodie Christus Natus Est" sung by The American Boychoir. The performance differs from the usual powerful, joyous tones associated with the piece in that the boy's choir sings it with a lighter, melodious sound more befitting of their age.

The music and tone of the album matures, however, on pieces like "Venez Mes Enfants" and "Ding Dong! Merrily on High!" Performed by the Westminster Choir and Princeton High School Choir, respectively, both pieces feature complex, powerful entrances made by different vocal parts throughout the songs.

As the upbeat, celebratory tones fade away toward the end of the album, pieces begin to feature stronger emphasis on harmony and complexity. The album ends with an amazing rendition of "Bululalow," once again performed by the Westminster Choir. In seamlessly tuned harmony, the piece mellows out in a short two minutes, leaving you wishing for more.

From the subdued lullabies of the children's choirs to the lush, gripping harmonies of the trained chapel singers, "A Princeton Christmas" effectively delivers the joy of giving in the Christmas spirit.

For more information, visit Friends of the World Food Program (http:/ www.friendsofwfp.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to building support for the WFP (http://www.wfp.org).

Tom Meagher (A Princeton Christmas) / 908-907-3377
Maria Reppas / mreppas@friendsofwfp.org / 202- 530-1694 x 111

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