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Candles burn in the Abbey ChurchDecemberSong readings and songs of the Advent and Christmas Seasons by the Saint Anselm College Choir

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College Choir Welcomes All to DecemberSong

November 28, 2016

Laura Lemire
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7242

The Saint Anselm College Choir invites the entire community to share in the solemnity of Advent through an assortment of compositions and readings at the 18th annual DecemberSong. The concert will take place Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Saint Anselm Abbey Church.

This year's program features traditional choral music with richly theological lyrics and alluring melodies. The repertoire aims to show the beauty of the Incarnation, with music ranging from the anonymous Latin fifteenth-century piece, "Verbum Caro," to the twentieth-century, "E'en so, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come," by Paul Manz.

Other pieces include the traditional "Messiah," by G. F. Handel and crowd-favorite carols, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "The First Noel."

This year, the cover of the DecemberSong program will feature a stunning illuminated depiction of the birth of Christ from "The Saint John's Bible." Until October 2017, Saint Anselm College is home to the Gospels and Acts volume of "The Saint John's Bible's Heritage Edition." Choir Director Eric Bermani chose this image because it is "modern art depicted in a neo-traditional way." The illustration, he says, depicts the mood and tradition of the concert.

Senior Caresse Mailloux comments, "DecemberSong holds a special place in my heart as an event where so many people come together to celebrate, not only to observe a tradition of the Saint Anselm Choir, but also to prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas."

She also describes the atmosphere of the Abbey Church, saying, "It is awe-inspiring to walk into the full church in candlelight, past many family and friends standing in the back."

Indeed, DecemberSong is an integral tradition of the Saint Anselm College Choir, as one of the group's two annual concerts. This year's DecemberSong closes the choir's 29th year. In 2017, the choir will celebrate 30 years since its founding in 1987 by Director Emeritus Fr. Bede Camera, O.S.B., who began conducting DecemberSong in 1998.

For new Choir Director Eric Bermani, this is his first experience of the Anselmian tradition. "Fr. Bede has been a huge source of inspiration and a great pillar of support," says Bermani. "Thirty years ago, Fr. Bede had a vision when he founded the choir. The fact that he is still here and a part of it is something special."

Please join the college in celebrating DecemberSong. Early arrival is recommended for convenience of parking and choice seating.

The Meelia Center for Community Engagement also invites members of the community to attend its annual Children's Holiday Fair on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. in the Carr Center.

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Story by Jasmine Blais '17

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