Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012, 12:30 pm

Nova Singers present varied Christmas program

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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

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Nova Singers
Nova Singers will present a varied program of holiday music in "A Nova Christmas," Friday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church, Galesburg.

The concerts include Christmas songs of all kinds, such as Kirby Shaw's arrangement of "Silver Bells," Irving Berlin's timeless "White Christmas," Victoria's "Ne Timeas Maria," and Muehleisen's "A solis ortus." The choir also celebrates local talent, featuring Galesburg composer Daniel Godsil's newly published choral meditation on "The Holly and the Ivy," pianist Megan Clewell on a tango from Puerto Rico and an arrangement of Shepherd's "Shake Off Their Drowsy Sleep."

Nova Singers will be joined by youth choirs for both concerts. On Friday, it will be Davenport's Sudlow Select Choir, under the direction of Kim Knoche, and on Saturday, the Galesburg Singing Streaks, directed by Pier Debes. Each choir will perform their own set of music before combining with the Nova Singers for three beloved Christmas carols.

"Music has always been an important part of the holiday season for me," Nova director Laura Lane said. "Every year, I love finding new Christmas carols that we've never done before that I think are perfect for Nova Singers. And this year I have found so many that are uniquely beautiful. I adore the mystical, deep motets from the Renaissance by Hassler and Victoria, but I'm also thrilled with the 'A solis ortus' -- written a year ago, I believe this will be only its second performance ever. Based on chant, it's haunting and full of rich, lush harmonies and just absolutely gorgeous."

Admission is $18 for adults and $15 for seniors, with students free of charge. For information about group rates, tickets, recordings, or other Nova Singers events, call (309) 341-7038, or email nova@knox.edu.