Dan Dorty • Director of Music and Organist

Come, rejoice and celebrate the wonder and mystery of the birth of the Christ Child with the choirs of Derry Church as they take you on a journey to Bethlehem! 

The Sanctuary Choir and Derry Ringers will  join with soprano and tenor soloists Nina Cline and Christian Seay to present our 2023 Christmas concert, Gaudete!* The concert features works by Dan Forrest, including his settings of O Little Town of Bethlehem for choir, piano, and soprano saxophone, and Angels from the Realms of Glory for four-hand piano and violin. 

The orchestra will accompany the choir in my setting of The First Noël, and you’ll enjoy  J. David Moore’s stirring setting of Gaudete with choir, soloists, and tambourine. Harold Darke’s alternate tune set to the text In the Bleak Midwinter features Nina and Chris accompanied by our Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ. You’ll also hear accompanists well-known to Derry: pianists Mary Lemons and Kurestin Miller, and organist Mark O’Hearn.

Other works include Mary Did You Know?, Angels Carol by John Rutter, and Alfred Burt’s beloved Caroling, Caroling. The Derry Ringers will perform two well-known carols, Fum, Fum, Fum and the Ukrainian Bell Carol, more commonly referred to as Carol of the Bells. 

The concert begins this Sunday, December 10 at 2 pm** and 5 pm in the Sanctuary, but you’ll want to get there 10 minutes early to hear a pre-concert recital by our harpist, Marilla Clay.  Join us for a sojourn that begins with a star above the stable, on a cold winter’s night where Mary, Joseph, and the Babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, await the shepherds and wise men. As we lift our voices together, I pray that each audience member will be caught up in the most tender warmth of love that the most humble birth of Jesus gives to each of us.

* In case you were wondering, Gaudete means “rejoice” — an apt description for this concert orchestrated to fill your heart with Christmas joy.

** You can also attend the 2 pm concert by live stream, but I heartily encourage you to attend in person, if at all possible. Click here to download the concert program.