‘Ring and Sing’ concert includes Oneida Chorale, Joyful Ringers

TWO DIRECTORS — Oneida Area Civic Chorale Director Kimberly Nethaway and and Rome First Presbyterian Church Joyful Ringers Director Tom McGibbon prepare for Sunday’s concert in Oneida. (Photo submitted)

ONEIDA — The Oneida Area Civic Chorale presents "Ring and Sing We Now of Christmas!" at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Oneida High School Auditorium.

Tickets for the concert are $10 from Chorale members, at W. J. Hinman Jewelers, 115 Main St., or by calling 697-3377. School-age students 12 and under will be admitted free of charge. The school is handicap-accessible.

The concert kicks off the 45th season for the 110-voice, non-audition community chorus whose members hail from Oneida, Rome, Canastota and the surrounding area. The Chorale will be conducted by Kimberly Nethaway, now in her 17th year as director, and will be joined by the Joyful Ringers, a 13-member handbell choir from the First Presbyterian Church of Rome, under the direction of Tom McGibbon.

The concert will have a distinct French and German flavor, reminiscent of the group’s summer singing tour of those countries. July 1-13, 44 singers representing the Oneida Area Civic Chorale participated in the Chorale’s fifth European concert tour. After processing to the stage singing Mark Kellner’s "Christmas Processional", accompanied by the handbell choir, the Chorale will present the French carol "Din Don! Merrily on High" and "Patapan", a traditional carol from the French province of Burgundy. "La Bonne Nouvelle (O Sing Glad Tidings)", a French-Canadian carol, will include flute accompaniment by Cindy Legwaila of Oneida. The women of the Chorale will offer "Kling, Glockchen, Kling! (Ring, Little Bells, Ring)", a traditional German carol arranged by Robert Sieving, and the Joyful Ringers will join the Chorale for "He Is Born", a joyful French carol. The Chorale men will perform "And the Angels Sang" by American composer Linda Spevacek.

Soloists for the concert include Sarah Terrell of Sherrill on "Breath of Heaven", by Amy Grant and Chris Eaton, and Steve Fisher of Canastota on John Rutter’s arrangement of "I Wonder As I Wander" by John Jacob Niles. The flute of Cindy Legwaila will also be heard on "Too Much Light for Midnight", a 2005 Alfred V. Fedak piece which was commissioned by the Chorale. An 18-voice ensemble will present "Throw Open Your Shutters" by Syracuse native Amy Bernon, who will be the guest composer at the Chorale’s May 2012 concert.

In addition to accompanying the Chorale on several numbers, the Joyful Ringers will perform "Joy to the World", "Stille Nacht", and "Carol of the Bells."

The concert will close with "Noel Festival", a 3-carol medley performed by the Chorale, the Joyful Ringers, and Chorale piano accompanists Heather O’Connell, Oneida, and Bernadette VanValkenburg of Sherrill.

The Joyful Ringers handbell choir of First Presbyterian Church of Rome was established in 1980 and has grown from a three-octave choir to a five-octave configuration. The choir plays five octaves of Schulmerich Handbells, and on occasion also plays three octaves of Malmark Choir Chimes. The members are volunteer musicians from the church who rehearse once a week and play a variety of music for worship and special services. Several of the bell-ringers will do double duty at the concert, as they are also members of the Chorale.

Tom McGibbon of Rome has been a member of the Joyful Ringers since its inception and has served as director since 1990. Under his leadership, First Presbyterian Church has hosted large handbell festivals featuring internationally recognized ringers and composers.For information, visit www.oneidachorale.com or call 363-7134.