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Christmas Holidays
(Audio CD)
Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati

The Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, under the direction of founder Dr Earl Rivers, presents contemporary sacred choral music for the Advent and Christmas seasons.

Released as a Digital Audio Compact Disc.

This album and its tracks are available digitally from the following streaming and download sources:
One must be subscribed and logged-in at Naxos Music Library for the Naxos link to work.


144 in stock

Product Description


Format: Digital Audio CD
Catalog Number:  CD 7194
Length: 61′ 43″
Tracks:  18
Venue: St. Boniface Catholic Church, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Recorded: 12/15/2003
Released: 12/15/2004
Producer: Alex S. Kosiorek
Notes Author: Earl Rivers
Notes Language: English
Graphics Format: 12 pp book, traycard, jewel box
UPC #: 636077719424

This album and its tracks are available digitally from the following streaming and download sources:
One must be subscribed and logged-in at Naxos Music Library for the Naxos link to work.

American Record Guide “Cincinnati’s most excellent Vocal Arts Ensemble – a group that is new to me – celebrates their 25th anniversary with this stunning collection of predominantly American holiday music, with quite a bit of new material. … Right from the start, Rivers and company exemplify Cincinnati’s vibrant choral scene. … These singers are paragons of passion, precision, and stylistic range. The supporting instrumentalists are superb. Sound quality does them full justice, and the booklet includes everything a choral fan could hope for. … quite refreshing…” – Koob


Christmas Holidays features new works and arrangements by American musicians, but also includes Richard Dering’s Quem vidistis, pastores”, the Canite tuba of Palestrina, and John Tavener’s The Lamb. Older American music is represented by two of William Dawson’s settings of African American spirituals.

Stephen Paulus has produced many appealing settings of carols, four of which are included here: a set of three (including This Endris Night and Wonder Tidings to striking 15th-century texts) and We Three Kings. Paulus frequently uses harp accompaniment, which is played superbly by Elizabeth Motter. Her work also graces four excerpts from A Festival of Carols by Frank Ferko. These are new tunes to old texts. The Paulus also features fluent oboe playing by Mark Ostrich.

Philip Lawson sets Welcome all wonders, words attributed to Thomas Treherne…. The Ensemble negotiates the difficulties of Bror Samuelson’s Ave Maris Stella with aplomb. The more contemporary American works, Irish Lullaby for the Christ Child, arranged by Steven Sametz and The Rune of Hospitality by Alf Houkom, would be useful in many programs … The Ensemble has lovely tone, expressive phrasing, and accurate articulation; they communicate a genuine affection for the repertory. Full texts, brief notes, and biographies are included.

Victor Hill – The Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians – March 2006

01 • Fum, fum, fum! • Kirke Mechem • 1’2″
02 • Three Nativity Carols – I The Holly and the Ivy • Stephen Paulus • 3’36”
03 • Three Nativity Carols – II This Endris Night • Stephen Paulus • 4’2″
04 • Three Nativity Carols – III Wonder Tidings • Stephen Paulus • 3’17”
05 • Mary Had A Baby • William Dawson • 3’11”
06 • Welcome All Wonders • Philip Lawson • 2’40”
07 • Ave Maris Stella • Bror Samuelsson • 3’39”
08 • A Festival of Carols – I Go Tell It On the Mountain • Frank Ferko • 1’25”
09 • A Festival of Carols – II The Sky Can Still Remember • Frank Ferko • 3’17”
10 • A Festival of Carols – III Do You Know the Song That the Angels Sang • Frank Ferko • 4’7″
11 • A Festival of Carols – IV Christmas Bells • Frank Ferko • 2’48”
12 • Quem vidistis, pastores? • Richard Dering • 2’13”
13 • The Lamb • John Tavener • 3’23”
14 • Canite tuba • Giovanni da Palestrina • 4’49”
15 • The Rune of Hospitality • Alf Houkom • 4’15”
16 • Behold the Star • William Dawson • 3’52”
17 • Irish Lullaby • Steven Sametz • 4’26”
18 • We Three Kings • Stephen Paulus • 5’34”

THE VOCAL ARTS ENSEMBLE OF CINCINNATI (VAE), celebrated its 25th Anniversary Season in 2004-2005. It is a professional chamber choir that ­presents, advocates, and promotes a repertory of innovative and traditional choral music and seeks to educate the public and nurture its appreciation of the life-­enriching qualities of the choral arts. Producing an annual subscription series, outreach programming for students and seniors, radio broadcasts and recordings, and regional programming, the VAE is well known for performances of recent music and promotion of works of living composers. The VAE has twice received an ASCAP – Chorus America Award for ”Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music.“ Annual collaborations with other Cincinnati arts ­organizations and hostings of regional children’s and high school choirs at ­subscription concerts have resulted in unique arts programming for greater Cincinnati audiences. Annual Visiting Composers have included Libby Larsen, Paul Alan Levi, Shafer Mahoney, Donald McCullough, Robert Moran, Ron Nelson, Stephen Paulus, Jeffrey Van and Janike Vandervelde. Guest ­conductors have ­included Stephen Cleobury, George Guest, Dale Warland, Jon Washburn, Richard Westenberg and Sir David Willcocks. The VAE has been featured at national and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).