St. Stephen’s Carols by Candlelight is December 16

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church presents its twelfth annual Carols by Candlelight concert Saturday, Dec. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the church sanctuary at 353 Main St. Carols by Candlelight, a celebration of Advent and Christmas, will feature the St. Stephen’s Festival Choir, soloists, a professional chamber orchestra, and Joshua Ehlebracht on organ. Derrick Goff, St. Stephen’s minister of music, will conduct the ensemble.  He will also lead the audience, which will be invited to join in singing traditional Christmas carols.​​​​​​                          

The concert opens with the English carol “Once in Royal David’s City,” sung by the choir in candlelight procession. Other choral highlights include the exuberant “For Unto Us a Child Is Born”, from Handel’s “Messiah”; the spiritual “Sister Mary Had-A But One Chile”; John Rutter’s “Nativity Carol”; the medieval carol “Angelus ad Virginem” (The Angel Came to Mary), arranged by Andrew Carter, and James Bassi’s lush setting of the 16th century text “Quem Pastores Laudavere” (Thou Whom Shepherds Worshipped), as well as the “Villancico Yaucano” (Christmas Carol from Yauco, the little village in Puerto Rico where the carol was first sung in 1951).                                                                    

Choral and congregational carols will be interspersed with traditional readings by members of St. Stephen’s and the Ridgefield community. First Selectman Rudy Marconi will read the lesson traditionally read by the Mayor of Cambridge in the Lessons and Carols from King’s College, broadcast worldwide on Christmas Eve​​​​​.                           

Doors open at 7 p.m. “The ticket price is set at ‘donation only,’ and we trust the generosity of the Ridgefield community to help us keep this tradition alive,” said the Rev. Whitney Altopp, rector of St. Stephen’s. “It is our pleasure to offer this and other excellent choral offerings throughout the year.”

Submitted by Ridgefield, CT

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