© 2023 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Celebrate the season with these specials from WKAR

Telling the Story: Christmas Oratorios

MSU College of Music
MSU College of Music
MSU College of Music
MSU Choral Union, University Chorale, and State Singers

Tue Dec. 20 at 9PM and Sat Dec. 24 at 8PM on WKAR-HD 23.1 & Fri Dec. 23 at Noon on 90.5 FM | Choir and orchestra members of the Michigan State University College of Music gather to bring the joy and spirit of the holiday season to the community.

David Rayl will conduct more than 200 instrumentalists and singers from the MSU Choral Union, University Chorale, State Singers, and the MSU Symphony Orchestra in selections from the Christmas Oratorios of J.S. Bach and Camille Saint-Saëns.

The concert opens with choruses from Saint Saëns Oratorio de Noel, which was composed for Midnight Mass in the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, France in 1858. Rayl will then conduct the first three of the six cantatas from Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium, composed in 1834. The cantatas were originally performed for major feasts of the Christmas season held within the iconic churches of Leipzig, Germany.

The three cantatas featured in this program cover the birth of Jesus, the angel’s announcement to the shepherds, and the shepherd’s visit to Bethlehem. The role of the Evangelist, who literally “tells the story” and weaves together the Christmas narrative with choruses and chorales will be sung by tenor soloist Cole Harvey, a master’s student in the College of Music.

Support local journalism by becoming a new WKAR donor and get ad-free feeds of your favorite NPR podcasts with NPR+ when you donate $8/month or more! Make your contribution today to fund more vetted news reports throughout mid-Michigan!