This holiday season, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus is proud to release Festive!: Four Years of Favorites. Nineteen stunning tracks comprise this brand-new album, recorded between 2011-2015 and conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig, SFGMC’s Artistic Director & Conductor. Festive! is available here:
Festive! includes many holiday favorites, such as “Carol of the Bells,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “Silent Night,” “Coventry Carol,” “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Ding! Dong! Merrily On High.” “The Rose / Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming” is a breathtaking mashup created by Craig Hella Johnson combining Amanda McBroom’s pop song, famously recorded by Bette Midler for the 1979 film The Rose, and the classic 1609 German carol by Michael Praetorius, performed with three soloists. “O Magnum Mysterium” features world-renowned operatic soprano Melody Moore.
Many tracks from Festive! were recorded live at the War Memorial Opera House, Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, Masonic Auditorium and Nourse Theater, all located in San Francisco. The recording also features an array of collaborating groups, such as the Friction Quartet and Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS).
A major highlight of the recording is the world premiere of “New Year’s Carol,” with music by Ola Gjeilo and lyrics by Charles Anthony Silvestri. Commissioned by SFGMC member Curtis Ponzi in memory of his late mother and her deep love of Christmas, the piece was created for SFGMC’s 25th Annual “Home For The Holidays” concert at the Castro Theatre – an annual tradition that began as a gift to the community at the height of the AIDS pandemic. “New Year’s Carol” recognizes and embraces those who have been lost, but also looks forward, carrying their legacies in remembrance.
“Everyone looks for meaning in life – especially at the holidays” writes Silvestri, “New Year’s Carol” lyricist. “Sometimes loneliness is the result of seeking ‘comfort and joy’ in old images, icons and traditions. That is the time to find new meaning in both old and new things.” The frostbite of pain and loss gives way to the flower of hope and renewal. And in the end, “New Year’s Carol” urges us to let go of that pain to make room for new life – “that which is hollow in faith letting go.”
Festive!: Four Years of Favorites - conducted by Dr. Timothy Seelig. Mixed, mastered and edited by Chris Kohler. ℗ © 2015 Golden Gate Performing Arts, Inc. All rights reserved.
This album would not be possible without the generous support of Bob Hermann & Dan Joraanstad, Nick Harper and Diane & Bill Harper.
Complete track listing is as follows:
Festive!: Four Years of Favorites
01. Gloria Fanfare 02. New Year’s Carol 03. Holidays Are Here 04. Carol of the Bells 05. The Rose / Lo How A Rose E’re Blooming 06. The Little Drummer Boy 07. The Ground 08. Silent Night 09. Auld Lang Syne 10. Over The River and Through The Woods 11. Ding! Dong! Merrily On High 12. Coventry Carol 13. Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day 14. O Magnum Mysterium (feat. Melody Moore) 15. Angels In Seven 16. Seasonal Sounds 17. Nerli Variations 18. Still, Still, Still 19. A Christmas Flourish