The Sooke Philharmonic Chorus will perform favourite music by Bach,, Handel and others plus carols from Britain and Germany at its Sing Noel concert on Dec. 4 and 5 at the the Sooke Community Hall. (File - Metro-Creative)

Sooke Philharmonic Chorus prepares for festive return

Concert set for Dec. 5 and 6 at Sooke Community Hall

The Sooke Philharmonic Chorus is preparing for its first in-person concert since the start of the COVID pandemic.

The chorus kicks off the Christmas season with Sing Noel on Dec. 4 and 5 at the Sooke Community Hall.

“Many of these Christmas pieces you will recognize, but some gems you may be hearing for the first time,” said director Nicholas Fairbank.

Soloist Nancy Washeim, a local soprano and regular guest of the Sooke Philharmonic Society, will join the chorus for select numbers.

A 15-piece string orchestra composed of members of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra will accompany the singers.

The concert repertoire includes the motet Lobet den Herrn by Bach, as well as some of his well-known Cantata choruses like Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Wachet auf.

Also on the program are shorter works by Mozart, choruses and solos from Handel’s Messiah, and a selection of Christmas carols from Britain and Germany.

“It has been wonderful to be able to rehearse in person again after an 18-month hiatus,” Fairbank said, noting the chorus has been rehearsing with masks as well as being physically distanced.

“We have put together a program of smaller, seasonal pieces and extracts from large works that will fill the hall and deliver Christmas spirit as only live music can.”

Proof of double vaccination and identification must be provided upon entry. Masks and physical distancing will be required.

Tickets are$25 for adults; $20 for students and seniors, 18 and under are free.

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