International Voices Houston continues to enrich the Bayou City by proliferating global voices and inspiring cultural understanding with moving performances by its multicultural ensemble. This holiday season, the choir opens its 18th year with This Shining Night, a special collection of seasonal music from around the globe.
Artistic director Mark Vogel leads the 110-voice choir with pianist Paul Butt, as well as percussion, violin, guitar, cello and flute accompaniments in his inaugural concert with the organization. This Shining Night will explore themes of hope, celebration and peace with songs from France, Mexico, Japan, Iraq, Spain, Norway, Nigeria, Israel, Trinidad and many more.
“The concert centers around the theme of light, even as our journey begins in the shadows with [Stephen Main's hymn] 'The Darkest Midnight in December.' From there, we travel the globe, singing Christmas carols before embarking on a restive pursuit of the light with 'Peace,'" says Vogel.
Following a pair of soothing Japanese and French lullabies, you will hear two of the organization’s fondest selections: the stirring “Iraqi Peace Song” that will be sung in Arabic, followed by a touching arrangement of the Hebrew prayer for peace, “Ose Shalom.” The first half concludes with the joyous Hanukkah song, “Ocho Kandelikas” (Eight Little Candles), sung in Ladino. Listen for echoes of Spanish and Hebrew in this rare and lovely language. The program closes with a festive sing-a-long medley “Hope for Resolution.”
"What I love about working with this choir is the coming together of such a diverse group of people. We have singers from more than 30 countries, and we will be singing in a total of 17 languages. International Voices Houston truly represents the rich international culture thriving here in Houston," says Vogel.
"This Shining Night"
Dec 10 at 7 pm; Dec 11 at 5:30 pm. $20 in advance; $25 at the door. Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH), 3400 Main St. 713-521-4533. voiceshouston.org