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99th Annual A Cappella Vespers Scheduled For Dec. 10, 17

The JHS A Cappella Choir, under the direction of Lauren Scharf, will present its 99th annual Vespers performance on Sunday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler Street.

The Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir will present its 99th annual A Cappella Vespers on Sunday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 17, at 4 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, 120 Chandler St.

Admission is free and a goodwill offering will be taken.

“The choir has been very busy preparing for this upcoming Vespers season. We have close to 20 performances on the calendar! You can expect to hear some familiar songs and some new. We are especially excited to be singing Handel’s ‘Hallelujah’ from the Messiah. Other choir favorites include ‘Ding-a Ding-a Ding’ and ‘See Amid the Winter’s Snow.’ said Lauren Scharf, choir director.

The 63-voice A Cappella Choir features smaller ensembles, including the Madrigal Singers, Men of Tomorrow and Ladies of Today. The choir will be accompanied on the piano by Julie Livengood and on the organ by Brian A. Bogey, the choir’s director emeritus. The Madrigal Singers are also scheduled to perform at a number of holiday events across the Jamestown community.

Established by the ensemble’s founder, Ebba Goranson, in 1924, the Vespers are sacred music concerts performed each December at First Lutheran Church, featuring excerpts from major choral works and seasonal songs and carols to help provide a bit of cheer during the holiday season.

Choral music education has enjoyed a long, rich tradition at Jamestown High School. Goranson directed the choir from 1924 until her passing in 1957. Donald B. Bubé served as choral director from 1958-1981. Bogey became the first alumnus of the choir to hold the director’s position in 1982 and, since his retirement in 2003, he continues to support the efforts of the A Cappella through friendship, counsel, and as organist. From 2004 to 2019, Norman Lydell served as director and continues to provide counsel to and support to the choir in many ways.

Through its travels across the country and globe, the choir is known as the “Choir of Cathedrals.” Venues have included, among many others, the National Shrine Basilica and National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C; New York City’s famed Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, and Saint John the Divine Cathedral; Boston’s Old North Church, St. Michael’s R.C. Cathedral in Toronto, Canada; and St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna, (home of the Vienna Boys Choir).

The choir also has participated in several master classes at prestigious universities and has performed at a number of professional sporting events and historical sites. In December of 2009, the Madrigal Singers performed with recording artist Kenny Rogers and in December of 2015, the choir performed with acclaimed performing artist Jim Brickman. The choir has also performed at Walt Disney World twice: at Disney Springs in 2014 and in EPCOT’s Candlelight Processional, narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin, in 2019. The Madrigal Singers recently performed with Buffalo-based theater organization, Starring Buffalo, in a production of “Sister Act: The Musical.”

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