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Oxford Civic Chorus’ Special 25th Season Winter Concert is Dec. 9

‘Tis the season—and Oxford Civic Chorus invites you to celebrate the joy with its 25th Anniversary Winter Concert at 3 p.m. on Dec. 9 in the David H. Nutt Auditorium.

Featuring John Rutter’s “Magnificat” plus some clever and rousing arrangements of other seasonal works, the concert is sure to transport listeners of all ages straight to the heart of the holiday season.

The concert includes accompaniment by members of the L-O-U Symphony, the North Mississippi Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony orchestras, funded in part by a $1,000 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The choir also received a $1,000 grant from the Lafayette Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow to purchase music.

“This season is a special one and we are just so excited and thankful that we have been awarded a grant from both MAC and LOFT,” said Oxford Civic Chorus board president Chris Koban. “We have returned to some very challenging music that goes beyond what we have done in the recent past. Having a full orchestra to play with us is just going to be awesome. It’s so wonderful to get to sing with so many other talented musicians.”

Debra Atkinson and Creighton Holder have been directing the choir since 2021. When they chose the music for the winter concert, they had in mind two themes: Christmas of course, and peace in the world.

“Creighton and I both agreed that ‘Magnificat’ was a great text to use for this time of year,” Atkinson said. “It is one of the oldest hymns of the church. And we both just love Rutter! For the other works, we were trying to find things that would be less sacred.”

One song, “Hope for Resolution,” juxtaposes an ancient European chant, in English, with a South African freedom song in Zulu.

“It kind of shows that even when cultures are very different, they can come together in peace and unity,” Atkinson said.

Listeners will also be treated to a fun and unusual arrangement of “The 12 Days of Christmas” by Bob Chilcott.

“It just really struck me when I first heard it,” Atkinson said. “It’s so cleverly arranged. He took the ‘five gold rings’ section and used different styles of music for every time that appears.”

While the concert is free to the public, Oxford Civic Chorus relies on the generosity of supporters to help purchase music, hire musicians, offer scholarships, defray administrative costs, provide benefit concerts for other nonprofits, and continue to offer free performances. Your donation at the concert or online at OxfordCivicChorus.org will help make this one of OCC’s very best seasons yet.

Oxford Civic Chorus, a 501(c)(3), has been inspiring singers, enriching the community and expanding musical horizons since 1998. The choir gathers for weekly rehearsals, performs two concerts a year, and is available to sing at local events. Join, donate or learn more at OxfordCivicChorus.org and facebook.com/OxfordCivicChorus.

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