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Old and New at the Chorale: Bemidji Chorale's 39th annual Christmas Concerts on Dec. 2

With accompanist Wayne Hoff on the piano, members of the Bemidji Chorale rehearse for their Christmas Concerts to be held at 3 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Calvary Lutheran Church. Dennis Doeden | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI—There will be a little bit of the old and the new in the Bemidji Chorale's 39th annual Christmas Concerts to be held Sunday, Dec. 2 at Calvary Lutheran Church.

The old will be a rendition of "Jingle Bells" that goes back to the group's founding conductor some 40 years ago. The new will be a solo on "Non Nobis Domine" by the 12-year-old son of a Chorale member.

Performances will be at 3 and 7 p.m. They are free and open to the public, but free-will donations will be accepted to offset Chorale costs. Pat Mason will conduct the 50-member community group, with accompaniment by Wayne Hoff.

Mason said she discovered the "Jingle Bells" spoof from the collection of the late Lyle Jewell, founding conductor of the Bemidji Chorale. "(He) had one single copy of it," she said. "It's out of print, and it's the arrangement that was done on this BBS show many years ago. There are a lot of other little funny parts to it. 'Caroling Caroling' is in it and 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' and all sorts of things."

Will Gunderson, son of Chorale tenor Josh Gunderson, will be the soloist on "Non Nobis Domine" by Patrick Doyle, a piece that was written for the film "Henry V."

"Will is a very good singer, a very nice little boy voice, and he's got a really good ear, so it's going to sound beautiful," Mason said.

The first portion of the concerts will conclude with three songs about roses: "A Rose Touched by the Sun's Warm Rays" by Jean Berger, "Spotless Rose" by Ola Gjeilo and "There is No Rose" by Rene Clausen.

"This program is designed to promote peace and comfort, combining well-known melodies and new settings of traditional literature," Mason said in her concert notes.

As is the Bemidji Chorale's Christmas Concert tradition, coffee, goodies and conversation will begin at the conclusion of the concerts.

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