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Watertown Musica Viva celebrating a feast and 50

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The Trinity Concert Series will close out the Christmas season next Sunday with a double celebration.

“On the Twelfth Day of Christmas” presented by Watertown Musica Viva will celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as Twelfth Night and Three Kings Day. The feast day is Jan. 6, ending the 12 days of Christmas, and traditionally is a time for merriment.

The concert — at 4 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St. — also marks the 50th performance in the Trinity Concert Series. Kyle P. Ramey, organist and choirmaster at Trinity, created the series in 2006. It features classical music performances by local and national talent. In honor of that milestone, the tickets to the Musica Viva concert next Sunday are half price.

“We’re thrilled we made it this far,” Mr. Ramey said. “I didn’t know that when we began this in 2006 that it would be something we would do for many years. Not only are we hitting 50, but we are already booking into next season and even after that.”

The Feast of the Epiphany celebrates the revelation to mankind of God as a human. In the West, Epiphany focuses on the visit of the Magi — the three kings — to the baby Jesus. For Eastern Orthodox Christians, Epiphany’s focal point is not the baby Jesus, but the baptism of the adult Jesus in the Jordan River and the appearance of the Holy Spirit.

Watertown Musica Viva is a 16-member by-audition chamber choir Mr. Ramey created in 2010. It was conceived as a mostly a cappella chamber choir — a small group that performs without instrumental accompaniment. Mr. Ramey will direct Sunday’s performance.

“The pieces I selected are meant to be sung during the season of Christmas and to bring in the new year, and about the old year being over,” Mr. Ramey said.

“On the Twelfth Day of Christmas” features a dozen hymns and carols, opening with “The Old Year Now Away Is Fled,” a traditional song from England dating from the 1600s. It will be followed by “Here Is the Little Door,” by English composer and organist Herbert Howells (1892-1983). Its title and first verse refer to the door to the manger where Jesus was born and its discovery by the three kings.

Other selections: “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Omnes de Saba Venient” (“All They From Saba Shall Come”), “Magi Viderunt Stellam” (“The Magi, Having Seen the Star”), “Coventry Carol,” “Ye Sons of Men, With Me Rejoice,” “Thou Must Leave Thy Lowly Dwelling” and “Wassail!”

One of the newest pieces selected by Mr. Ramey is “Balulalow,” written by English composer Francis Pott in 2009. It’s dedicated to the choir of Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.

The final two selections are traditional English songs: “The Gooding Carol” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” arranged by Ian Humphris.

The 16 members of Watertown Musica Viva are Alice Jean Boucher, Nancy Boynton, Jonathan Cole, Mariella Collinsworth, Sue Ebersol DeMar, Martha Jablonski, Mary Kaskan, Emily Kelly, Maureen Laemmermann, Richard Probert, David Raville, Linda Raville, Michaela Schied, Richard Stephens, Kevin Thackston and John Willaman.

In honor of the 50th concert in the Trinity series, there will be a post-concert reception featuring traditional wassail, eggnog, hors d’oeuvres and “decadent desserts.”

The details
WHAT: Watertown Musica Viva presents “On the Twelfth day of Christmas” as part of the Trinity Concert Series
WHEN/WHERE: 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 227 Sherman St., Watertown
COST: In honor of the 50th concert in the Trinity Concert Series, tickets are half price. Preferred seating is $7; preferred seating for senior citizens and members of the military is $6; general admission is $6; general admission for members of the military and senior citizens is $5. Tickets for students in kindergarten through college are free.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or ordered online at www.trinityconcerts.org or by calling the church at 788-6290, ext. 3.
OF NOTE: This is the second concert in the seven-concert 2013-14 series. Season packages are still available. The next concert is the piano duo Marina Radiushina and Milana Strezeva on Feb. 9.
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