The Warrenton Chorale, under the direction of Mary DeMarco Roland, will present its 66th annual Christmas concert Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Warrenton United Methodist Church.
While turning 65 means retirement for most, that certainly can’t be said of the Warrenton Chorale. The venerable community choral ensemble has a new lease on life with a newly installed artistic director and fresh music for its 66th Christmas concerts this week.
Artistic Director Mary DeMarco Roland follows up her well-received spring debut with a program of new music — a mix of Christmas classics and contemporary pieces — for the group of 72 singers. Ms. Roland developed the concert theme of “Christmas is Coming” with the spirit of the season in mind. Acknowledging the chorale’s long-standing part in ushering in the holiday season for the Warrenton community, Ms. Roland wanted to focus on the excitement people — especially children — feel about the approach of Christmas.
This year’s concert includes arrangements of “Mary Did You Know” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” as well as lighthearted takes on “Fum Fum Fum” and “The Nutcracker” and the sweetly reflective “Somewhere in my Memory” from the film “Home Alone.”
“I love to pull on the heartstrings with classics...or sentimental songs. Both types...bring us to places in our heart rekindling moments from Christmases past,” Ms. Roland said.
The P.B. Smith Elementary School Honor Choir will join the chorale for the second year in a row — part of an ongoing effort by the Chorale’s board of directors to partner with school groups to showcase talented local youth. The children will perform three numbers and will join in with the chorale for one big group piece entitled appropriately “Christmas is Coming.”
Ms. Roland, a veteran chorus teacher from Fairfax County with more than 30 years’ experience, is the fifth artistic director of the Warrenton Chorale. She has a bachelor’s degree in education and music from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s degree in music from George Mason University.
“The chorale doesn’t need anything from me that they don’t already have. They have spirit, joy and community! I bring to them...a renewed energy and a fresh ear. I want to push them to the next level of enthusiasm and musicality!” Ms. Roland said of her contribution to the group.
“We enjoy working each fall on producing a gift of beautiful music for our community that will be uplifting and set the tone for an unforgettable holiday season for all,” added board of directors Chairman Carroll Foley.
Performances will be Thursday and Friday, Dec. 5-6, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. at the Warrenton United Methodist Church. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students in grades K-12.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at one of several participating vendors: Déjà Brew, Great Harvest Bread Co., g. whillikers Toys & Books, Oak View National Bank (Warrenton), New Baltimore Animal Hospital and Warrenton Jewelers.