Grand Chorale Singers ready to bring ‘Joy to the World’ (and other carols) to Grand Lake on Dec. 10-11

Sky-Hi News Staff Report
The Grand County Chorale, Grand County’s own barbershop-style a cappella singing group. They will sing holiday favorites on Saturday, Dec. 10, and Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022.
Eric Sandstrom/Courtesy Photo

The Grand Chorale has been delivering public Christmas concerts for over 30 years and the tradition continues this month with caroling for Grand County audiences. The Grand Chorale will perform two free public concerts in December.

The Chorale will perform traditional carols and some new arrangements. The concerts will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch chapel, and Sunday, Dec. 11, at the Grand Lake Community House at 1025 Grand Ave. in Grand Lake. Both concerts begin at 7 p.m.

Under the leadership of director Jeff Shaw, the Chorale’s harmonies — 14 women’s and men’s voices — seek to imbue the spirit of the season. 

Shaw explained that there is a good deal more to Christmas carols than meets the ear. As an expert with specialized training in barbershop music, he suggests that audiences pay close attention when listening to each carol.

“There are three overall categories of music: lyrical, melodic and rhythmic,” he said in a news release. “With lyrical music, the words and message are the most important elements of a song. A melodic piece emphasizes the melody … it’s usually the song that you can’t seem to get out of your head. A rhythmic song has a driving beat or some memorable rhythmic aspect to it.”

The Chorale’s repertoire for this year features traditional examples of each. Lyrical includes “Joy to the World,” melodic includes “The First Noel” and rhythmic includes “Sleigh Ride.”

The typical Christmas carol blends these categories. For instance, the classic “What Child Is This?” written in 1865 by William Chatterton Dix, combines lyrical, melodic and rhythmic aspects.

“There’s the driving waltz beat as well as meaningful lyrics and a beautiful melody,” Shaw said in the release. “Hard to say which one of these elements predominates. Regardless, whether it’s rhythmic, melodic or lyrical, these songs are all great fun to sing.”

The group has spent more than two months in weekly rehearsals to prepare for the holiday concert.

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