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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 7 months ago

OCS to host winter concert at West Orange

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The Orlando Choral Society will hold its 12th annual winter concert on Saturday, Dec. 7.
by: Eric Gutierrez Staff Writer

It will be a merry evening of holiday songs and singing at the Orlando Choral Society’s upcoming winter concert.

The society’s 12th annual winter concert, called “One World, Many Voices: A Winter Celebration Concert,” will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the West Orange High School auditorium.

“We’re singing, ‘I Saw Three Ships’ — that is a song that I will be conducting,” said J. Christine Le, the assistant artistic director of OCS and the director of choral activities at Olympia High School. “We’re doing a song called ‘Modimo.’ It’s by Michael Barrett and it’s … a really wonderful, upbeat song that has percussion and dance moves. It’s just something you don’t really expect at a holiday concert — at a typical holiday concert — and I’m excited to put that one in there because it’s representative of (something) more cultured in the holiday season.” 

Le will be conducting the concert with Grammy Award winner Dr. Jeffery Redding, who is the artistic and executive director of OCS and the director of choral activities at West Orange High. Concert-goers will get to enjoy an array of holiday songs from two OCS choirs: the Garden Choir and Voci del Cuore. Additionally, choir students from West Orange High also will be performing that evening. Many of the songs OCS will be performing at the “One World, Many Voices: A Winter Celebration Concert” will be performed at a future concert later in the month, as well.

“We’re going to combine (choirs) for some mass pieces and sing some really exciting songs that, later, we will add an orchestra to at (our) First United Christmas concert,” Le said. “So much of it is going to be encored at the ‘First United Christmas Concert.’ … That’s going to be at First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando.” 

Each choir group will be singing four to five different songs. Although all of the songs are representative of the holiday season, the music that concert-goers will hear reflects different musical genres, Le said.

“It’s a wonderful variety (of songs), which is one of the great things about Dr. Redding because he picks a such great breadth (of music) that is so representative of multiple genres of music,” Le said. “People should go to the concert because you’re going to hear holiday music that you recognize, and you’re also going to hear holiday music that’s a little less known. All of the pieces are fantastic. All the pieces have great variety. You’re going to hear a combination of multiple songs, but you’re also going to see a combination of multiple people, which is why it’s so great to be a part of OCS right now. Dr. Redding is so good at building bridges and connecting people from the high school community to the adult community to the professional community, and bringing all of these communities together is something really special.”

Based in Winter Garden, the OCS serves as a musical outlet for hundreds of residents who call Central Florida home, including many West Orange residents. The choir organization holds rehearsals at West Orange High and serves the numerous communities within Central Florida by building bridges through music. 

Eric Gutierrez is a staff writer with the West Orange Times & Observer and the West Orange Observer. He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2015 with a double major in Journalism and Political Science. Contact Eric at...

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