With the festive season nearly upon us, Dead of Winter is sure to put the Winnipeg audience in a holiday spirit with the presentation of their beloved, annual concert, Celebrating the Carol.
Ever the inventive programmers, rejoice in beloved yuletide favourites paired with new arrangements sung by the top-notch ensemble.
“One of the things that we love to do, of course, is something with a twist,” says conductor and curator Vic Pankratz.
In addition to featuring music of English Renaissance composer William Byrd alongside compositions by Dead of Winter Artistic Director Andrew Balfour, the program’s greatest “twist” is the inclusion of some Georgian folk carols, says Pankratz.
“It’s just awesome music,” he says. "It’s so fun to play with the different colours and different textures in that music.”
Ethnomusicologist – and Dead of Winter singer – Matthew Knight completed PhD studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, focusing his research on the polyphonic vocal music of the Republic of Georgia.
Given the niche, unique elements of the music, Knight, perhaps unsurprisingly, doesn’t have the opportunity to sing Georgian folk music all too often in Winnipeg, so this concert is certainly a special occasion.
“This has been really exciting that Dead of Winter was willing to take this on,” says Knight, who has been coaching and conducting the ensemble in the preparation of four carols.
The ensemble also welcomes the changed voices division of the Winnipeg Boys Choir, under the direction of Spencer Duncanson, as special guest artists.
A free concert, attendees are asked to bring a nonperishable food item in lieu of a ticket cost, to donate to Manitoba Harvest. They are also asked to reserve seats ahead of time online.
“Celebrating the Carol” takes place on at 7:30 pm Saturday, November 26 at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church.