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Tidings of Comfort and Joy: An Antioch Christmas returns to Summit, New Jersey
by Luthien Brackett for Vocal Area Network
Posted December 11, 2004

Antioch logoIf the preponderance of radio stations playing Christmas songs from Thanksgiving through the New Year is any indication, nothing makes the holiday season seem as magical as its music. Even the most shell-shocked Christmas shopper can scarcely wipe the smile from his face when a group of carolers goes by singing "Deck the Halls." Just ask the Antioch Chamber Ensemble. Last year, to promote their first annual "An Antioch Christmas" concert in Summit, New Jersey, the chamber choir took to the streets of Summit, singing Christmas carols on street corners, in local shops, and at the train station, where weary commuters, enduring train delays due to the icy weather, were unexpectedly pulled from their holiday doldrums by "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" in four-part harmony. "Any requests?" asked artistic director Joshua Copeland. "O' Little Town of Bethlehem!" called one briefcase-toting kid-at-heart.

To duplicate that cozy, fireside inner glow, one need only go as far as Summit on Saturday evening, December 18 at 7:00 PM when Antioch will present its highly anticipated second annual Christmas concert at Calvary Church. The program will feature the Ceremony of Carols of Benjamin Britten, with Merynda Adams on harp, and carols by Sweelinck, Byrd, Leighton and Rutter, among others. Concert-goers will also be able to join in the best carol sing-along the area has to offer, after which they can indulge in a sumptuous dessert reception, where spiced wine will pour freely.

Antioch made its debut as the ensemble-in-residence at Trinity Church Wall Street in 2000, and is currently celebrating its second season as the ensemble-in-residence at Calvary Church in Summit, in its home state of New Jersey. Of last year's concert, Classical New Jersey has written: "The intonation was pure, the blend exquisite, the voices ethereal in the church's sympathetic acoustics," and " If you have a chance to hear them, go!" After a long day of gift shopping, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more relaxing and festive way to unwind. But be warned: bring room for dessert!

Calvary Church is located at 31 Woodland Avenue in Summit, New Jersey, and is easily accessible from Manhattan by train via New Jersey Transit Midtown direct trains. Tickets to "An Antioch Christmas" are available online at the group's web site at Antiochonline.com, by mail (call 973-819-2135 for order details), or at the door while supplies last. Admission includes the concert and dessert reception to follow. Tickets are $30 for adults, and $20 for students and children. Antioch is a non-profit organization.

Luthien Brackett sings with and is the administrator for the Antioch Chamber Ensemble. This is is her second article for Vocal Area Network.

Content Contact: Luthien Brackett.
Revision Date: December 11, 2004.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

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