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posted: 11/26/2012 12:01 AM

West Aurora High's Ancora Imparo presents holiday music CD

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Submitted by West Aurora Unit District 129

The choral group Ancora Imparo, made up of eight former members of the West Aurora High School a cappella choir, has created a holiday music CD under the direction of former West Aurora music director Meg Papadolias.

Titled "Some of My Best Friends Songs for the Winter Season," the $15 CD is available at Pockets Restaurants, 2933 Kirk Road and 1330 N. Orchard, Aurora; Kiss the Sky, 180 First St., Batavia; Aurora Aglow: a Popup Emporium at the David Pierce Arts Center, 20 E. Downer Place, Aurora; the West Aurora Unit District 129 administration office, 80 S. River St., Aurora; or from any member of the musical group. Profits will go to the A+ Foundation's Meg Papadolias Endowment Fund, which supports the district's choral music programs.

The music is performed in a variety of styles, from traditional Christmas music, such as "O Holy Night," "Silent Night" and "Carol of the Bells," to an original by Papadolias, "Something Told the Wild Geese."

"All of the tracks are arranged differently than you have heard them before," Papadolias said. "Because all of the voices are treble, and because instruments used include lever harp and hammer dulcimer, I would say that if you like the sound of the Celtic Women recordings, you will like this recording."

Members of Ancora imparo on the recording are Emily Fuller, Annie Carpenter, Jennette Birch, Lisa McConkey, Stephanie Voirin Leo, Elise Hankins Clever, Sharon Head Thierfelder and Heather Fairbanks Lambert. The group now includes Alexondrea Koester, a 2012 West Aurora graduate.

Guest soloists who joined in the recording are Marjorie Klespitz and Becca Caliendo, who both have masters degrees in vocal performance and are singing in opera now; Nora (Jessica) Navarro, who will graduate in musical theater from Roosevelt this year; Laura Thurlwell; Kim Scharf, who teaches general music at Greenman; Bob Lisberg, restaurant entrepreneur and musician; and Allison Zabelin, who is an orchestra director in the Libertyville School District.

The album was recorded by K Lamont Lambert, music teacher at Jewel Middle School. It was mastered by Dustin Fairbanks. Papadolias' sons, John and Adam, also play on the album, guitar and sitar respectively.

Tracks include: "Star in the East" an early American carol; "Something Told the Wild Geese"; "Carol of the Bells"; "Carol of the Birds," a Catalonian carol; "Westminster Carol"; "How Far Is It to Bethlehem," a soprano duet with lever harp; "Mi shebeirach," a Jewish folk song with violin obbligato; "O Holy Night," a soprano duet; "Away in a Manger/Gift Carol," a lever harp solo; "We Three Kings," a different arrangement with sitar; "Joys Seven," an early American carol; "Little Lamb" with hammer dulcimer; "A la nanita nana," a mariachi-like treatment of a Spanish carol, with guitars and violins; "In the Bleak Midwinter, the Darke arrangement; and "Silent Night."

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