dominickdiorio
conductor composer
two letter D inside a blue circle

A Yuletide Carol

Choral Music

chorus with solo instrument

work detail

instrumentation: SATB, tambourine

completion date: october 2021

duration: 4 minutes

texts: An original commissioned poem by Kyle Conner

events

11

A FEAST OF CAROLS

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia - Dominick DiOrio

St. Paul's Chestnut Hill - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4:00 pm

Seek the healing light, share your songs of hope

In the darkest time of the year, cultures and traditions all over the world sing to celebrate and remember. To end an absence as long as a winter’s night, Mendelssohn Chorus is happy to announce that our first concert back in person will be our treasured program: A Feast of Carols. A longtime tradition for Philadelphia families and an exciting celebration for newcomers too, young and old alike gather as we sing music of winter’s dawn and rebirth.

Featuring Timberdale Brass, Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, the world premiere of Texu Kim’s The New Year’s Magpie Song, and a new carol by MCP Artistic Director Dominick DiOrio. Music of Joan Szymko, Rex Isenberg, Joshua Fishbein, André J. Thomas, Moses Hogan, and Diane L. White-Clayton, plus carols warmly familiar and some newly discovered gems. Learn more and buy tickets.

11

A FEAST OF CAROLS

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia - Dominick DiOrio

St. Paul's Chestnut Hill - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

7:30 pm

Seek the healing light, share your songs of hope

In the darkest time of the year, cultures and traditions all over the world sing to celebrate and remember. To end an absence as long as a winter’s night, Mendelssohn Chorus is happy to announce that our first concert back in person will be our treasured program: A Feast of Carols. A longtime tradition for Philadelphia families and an exciting celebration for newcomers too, young and old alike gather as we sing music of winter’s dawn and rebirth.

Featuring Timberdale Brass, Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, the world premiere of Texu Kim’s The New Year’s Magpie Song, and a new carol by MCP Artistic Director Dominick DiOrio. Music of Joan Szymko, Rex Isenberg, Joshua Fishbein, André J. Thomas, Moses Hogan, and Diane L. White-Clayton, plus carols warmly familiar and some newly discovered gems. Learn more and buy tickets.

audio

A Yuletide Carol

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia - Dominick DiOrio James Lamb, percussion World premiere recording, December 11, 2021 St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Chestnut Hill - Philadelphia, PA

performances

december 11, 2021 (Premiere)

Premiere performance by Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia Dominick DiOrio, conductor; James Lamb, tambourine St. Paul's Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA December 11, 2021 - 4pm and 7:30pm

original text

Original poem by Kyle Conner

Yule Carol An Ancient Celebration of Dance and Divination In 6/8

(Opens with convocation of ululations, greetings, and ghostly calls)

Good tidings! Light the candles! Raise the spirits! OOOoooooOOOoo!! Shed a light! Spirit bright! Don’t wander far! Peace be upon you! And your ken! Stay close to the fire! Let us celebrate! Precious light! (ululations taper off to silence…)

(accompanied by chords of great mystery) YULE! Y-U-L-E ! ! ! Y—U—L—E !!!

(Verses beginning quiet & intense, slowly building in volume and intensity, and ultimately, joy. Verses are spoken-sung in chant-like fashion.)

We-sing-Yule-to-night Watch-the-log-burn-bright Spi-rits-walk-up-right Sha-ding-death-with-life

Yule is the joy of the All-As-One Stoking the revelry just begun Offering songs to the setting sun Calling the past into momentum

Y-U-L-E ! !
(every iteration of “YULE” should have slight upward release akin to women’s Bulgarian folk singing)

See-er-tell-us-true Fu-tures-that-you-view What-rid-dles-can-you Spell-for-our-com-mune?

Seer (solo or chorus, in guttural voice, as if possessed): Now ancestor’s spirits walk hand in hand Sowing the air of the dormant land Inhaling night and exhaling day What is the magical seed? We say: Y-U-L-E !

Mys-t’ries-we-behold Now-til-time-un-told Cir-cle-round-the-fire Lift-our-vi-sion-high’r

A sacred vigil this longest night Clarifies vision of second sight Holding realities side by side This is the wonder we call Yuletide!

Y-U-L-E!

Join-us-in-this-dance Find-our-in-ner-trance Make-we-in-this-place Joy-un-to-our-grace

Unblinking eye of Eternal Time Fixes the mystery in its rime In frozen moment revealèd all Ten thousand mysteries in our thrall

Y-U-L-E ! Nature slumbers deep Seasons in its sleep We dream greenest fields For our crops to yield

Spirits-move-about Nat’ral-law-they-flout! We-wield-ancient-wyrd Come, Sun, quell our fear!

Fire the image of light divine Sparking together in dance and wine Joy is our answer to darkest hour Dancing the circle we call our power:

YULE-BEING!-Thee-we-praise For-green-shoots-to-raise! Ma-gic-let’s-us-see Pos-si-bi-li-ty!

Spirits now to rest At Time’s grave request Sunlight scatters all Spectral caterwauls

YULE! Y-U-L-E ! !

We-take-plea-sure-now Toast-ing-gods-and-plough Sing-ing-praise-to-thou Na-ture’s-green-est-bough

Yule-brings-spe-cial-sight To-this-long-est-night May-you-live-in-peace Joy-and-love-in-crease!

(Calls of “Yule!” race like flickering flames among the chorus fading to whispers no less intense. Chorus raises arms in final salutation to the rising sun as the celebration ends.)

program note

By Michael Moore: "When Dominick DiOrio (b. 1984) agreed to write a new work for this concert, he turned to poet and Mendelssohn Chorus member Kyle Conner to provide a text, giving him wide latitude in subject and format. Conner explains that “immediately the concept of Yule starting racing around my brain – Yuletide carols, Yule logs, Yule feasts. Attributed to Germanic tribes, the Yule tradition is very old and precedes Christianity by several hundred years. Yule in its earliest Norse form Jolnir was one of the many names of the Norse god Odin. Yule originated as a celebration of Odin and the winter solstice. With the spread of Christianity, it was gradually subsumed into the celebration of Christmas. I knew that this would be a celebratory piece, so it had to be a dance. I constructed the poetry in 6/8 meter with two dactyls (DEE-da-da) followed by three trochees (DEE-da), a rhythm reinforced by beats of the tambourine. Otherwise, the music is sung entirely a cappella, which is likely how singing began.”

information

events

11

A FEAST OF CAROLS

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia - Dominick DiOrio

St. Paul's Chestnut Hill - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

4:00 pm

Seek the healing light, share your songs of hope

In the darkest time of the year, cultures and traditions all over the world sing to celebrate and remember. To end an absence as long as a winter’s night, Mendelssohn Chorus is happy to announce that our first concert back in person will be our treasured program: A Feast of Carols. A longtime tradition for Philadelphia families and an exciting celebration for newcomers too, young and old alike gather as we sing music of winter’s dawn and rebirth.

Featuring Timberdale Brass, Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, the world premiere of Texu Kim’s The New Year’s Magpie Song, and a new carol by MCP Artistic Director Dominick DiOrio. Music of Joan Szymko, Rex Isenberg, Joshua Fishbein, André J. Thomas, Moses Hogan, and Diane L. White-Clayton, plus carols warmly familiar and some newly discovered gems. Learn more and buy tickets.

11

A FEAST OF CAROLS

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia - Dominick DiOrio

St. Paul's Chestnut Hill - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

7:30 pm

Seek the healing light, share your songs of hope

In the darkest time of the year, cultures and traditions all over the world sing to celebrate and remember. To end an absence as long as a winter’s night, Mendelssohn Chorus is happy to announce that our first concert back in person will be our treasured program: A Feast of Carols. A longtime tradition for Philadelphia families and an exciting celebration for newcomers too, young and old alike gather as we sing music of winter’s dawn and rebirth.

Featuring Timberdale Brass, Daniel Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata, the world premiere of Texu Kim’s The New Year’s Magpie Song, and a new carol by MCP Artistic Director Dominick DiOrio. Music of Joan Szymko, Rex Isenberg, Joshua Fishbein, André J. Thomas, Moses Hogan, and Diane L. White-Clayton, plus carols warmly familiar and some newly discovered gems. Learn more and buy tickets.


audio

A Yuletide Carol

Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia - Dominick DiOrio James Lamb, percussion World premiere recording, December 11, 2021 St. Paul's Episcopal Church - Chestnut Hill - Philadelphia, PA

performances

december 11, 2021 (Premiere)

Premiere performance by Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia Dominick DiOrio, conductor; James Lamb, tambourine St. Paul's Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, PA December 11, 2021 - 4pm and 7:30pm


original text

Original poem by Kyle Conner

Yule Carol An Ancient Celebration of Dance and Divination In 6/8

(Opens with convocation of ululations, greetings, and ghostly calls)

Good tidings! Light the candles! Raise the spirits! OOOoooooOOOoo!! Shed a light! Spirit bright! Don’t wander far! Peace be upon you! And your ken! Stay close to the fire! Let us celebrate! Precious light! (ululations taper off to silence…)

(accompanied by chords of great mystery) YULE! Y-U-L-E ! ! ! Y—U—L—E !!!

(Verses beginning quiet & intense, slowly building in volume and intensity, and ultimately, joy. Verses are spoken-sung in chant-like fashion.)

We-sing-Yule-to-night Watch-the-log-burn-bright Spi-rits-walk-up-right Sha-ding-death-with-life

Yule is the joy of the All-As-One Stoking the revelry just begun Offering songs to the setting sun Calling the past into momentum

Y-U-L-E ! !
(every iteration of “YULE” should have slight upward release akin to women’s Bulgarian folk singing)

See-er-tell-us-true Fu-tures-that-you-view What-rid-dles-can-you Spell-for-our-com-mune?

Seer (solo or chorus, in guttural voice, as if possessed): Now ancestor’s spirits walk hand in hand Sowing the air of the dormant land Inhaling night and exhaling day What is the magical seed? We say: Y-U-L-E !

Mys-t’ries-we-behold Now-til-time-un-told Cir-cle-round-the-fire Lift-our-vi-sion-high’r

A sacred vigil this longest night Clarifies vision of second sight Holding realities side by side This is the wonder we call Yuletide!

Y-U-L-E!

Join-us-in-this-dance Find-our-in-ner-trance Make-we-in-this-place Joy-un-to-our-grace

Unblinking eye of Eternal Time Fixes the mystery in its rime In frozen moment revealèd all Ten thousand mysteries in our thrall

Y-U-L-E ! Nature slumbers deep Seasons in its sleep We dream greenest fields For our crops to yield

Spirits-move-about Nat’ral-law-they-flout! We-wield-ancient-wyrd Come, Sun, quell our fear!

Fire the image of light divine Sparking together in dance and wine Joy is our answer to darkest hour Dancing the circle we call our power:

YULE-BEING!-Thee-we-praise For-green-shoots-to-raise! Ma-gic-let’s-us-see Pos-si-bi-li-ty!

Spirits now to rest At Time’s grave request Sunlight scatters all Spectral caterwauls

YULE! Y-U-L-E ! !

We-take-plea-sure-now Toast-ing-gods-and-plough Sing-ing-praise-to-thou Na-ture’s-green-est-bough

Yule-brings-spe-cial-sight To-this-long-est-night May-you-live-in-peace Joy-and-love-in-crease!

(Calls of “Yule!” race like flickering flames among the chorus fading to whispers no less intense. Chorus raises arms in final salutation to the rising sun as the celebration ends.)


program note

By Michael Moore: "When Dominick DiOrio (b. 1984) agreed to write a new work for this concert, he turned to poet and Mendelssohn Chorus member Kyle Conner to provide a text, giving him wide latitude in subject and format. Conner explains that “immediately the concept of Yule starting racing around my brain – Yuletide carols, Yule logs, Yule feasts. Attributed to Germanic tribes, the Yule tradition is very old and precedes Christianity by several hundred years. Yule in its earliest Norse form Jolnir was one of the many names of the Norse god Odin. Yule originated as a celebration of Odin and the winter solstice. With the spread of Christianity, it was gradually subsumed into the celebration of Christmas. I knew that this would be a celebratory piece, so it had to be a dance. I constructed the poetry in 6/8 meter with two dactyls (DEE-da-da) followed by three trochees (DEE-da), a rhythm reinforced by beats of the tambourine. Otherwise, the music is sung entirely a cappella, which is likely how singing began.”


dominick smiling and looking out