Singing of the season: Hagerstown Choral Arts presents a holiday concert

December 05, 2012|By CHRIS COPLEY |
  • Greg Shook directs Hagerstown Choral Arts in its annual holiday concert Saturday, Dec. 8, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown.
File photo

On Saturday, Hagerstown Choral Arts presents its annual holiday concert, Sing Noel. This year’s concert includes traditional carol singalongs and modern arrangements of seasonal music, plus a brass ensemble and a handbell choir.

“It’s a very exciting concert,” said Gregory P. Shook, conductor of Hagerstown Choral Arts. “Our major work is the Randol Bass ‘Gloria,’ and we have a couple John Rutter pieces. I know he’s a favorite composer.”

The choir concert will be at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Trinity Lutheran Church. Admission is free; a freewill offering will be taken. Nathan Arch will accompany the choir.

Shook said Bass has composed a lot of music, including arrangements for movies and stage productions. According to Bass’s website,, “Gloria” was first performed by the New York Pops Orchestra in 1990.

“It’s just a fresh setting of the text. Great for the season,” Shook said.

Molly Getsinger will step out of the choir to lead singers in two seasonal arrangements by John Rutter.

“It’s the first time I’m singing with Hagerstown Choral Arts,” she said.

“I’m a student at Shepherd University,” Getsinger said. “Greg was gracious enough to let me come and direct. It has been fabulous.”

Getsinger said at Shepherd, she has directed smaller ensembles, mostly chamber choirs. But the 40-member Choral Arts is a different challenge.

“I haven’t worked with a choir this size. But I treat it pretty much the same. It’s just a larger group of people,” she said. “They’ve done these pieces a number of times, so they’re great as far as musicality. It’s really easy to work with them.”

The front of the Trinity sanctuary will be packed. At practice this week, Shook encouraged his singers to be prepared for crowded conditions on Saturday. Choral Arts singers will share space with the Hub City Brass, Capital Carillon Handbell Choir’s seven octaves of handbells and Arch at the grand piano.

It all makes for a rich, musical celebration of the holiday season.

“We’re excited about it,” Shook said.

If you go ...       

WHAT: Sing Noel, Hagerstown Choral Arts’ holiday concert, with special guests Capital Carillon Handbell Choir and Hub City Brass.

WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8

WHERE: Trinity Lutheran Church, 15 Randolph Ave., Hagerstown.

COST: Freewill offering

CONTACT: Call 301-665-9424 or email

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