Christmas singalong included at Northwest Choral's Dec. 17 concert

Question: What do the songs "Et in terra pax," "Lux Aurumque," and "I Want to Stare at My Phone with You" have in common? A clue: "We wish you a Merry Christmas" is included in this commonality.

Answer: They all will be included in the program of Northwest Choral Society's 58th annual Christmas concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17, at. St. Raymond de Penafort Church in Mount Prospect.

Titled "A Northwest Christmas," the concert program includes, in addition to the above, choral masterworks of the season, as well as familiar carols, singalongs, and other audience Christmas favorites. NWCS' collaborative pianist Lori Lyn Mackie will accompany the chorus.

In "Et in terra pax" (translated "and peace on earth"), composer John Purifoy visits the angels' powerful "peace on earth" proclamation and delivers an anthem of joyous "Glorias" and whispered prayers for peace. "Lux Aurumque"("Light and Gold") is a Christmas composition by Eric Whitacre, based on a poem of the same name by Edward Esch and translated into Latin by Charles Anthony Silvestri.

"I Want to Stare at My Phone with You" is a novel holiday song that perfectly expresses what everyone experiences when consumed with their cellphones, even during the holidays. Composer Nathan Howe is a singer, pianist and educator. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership from Western Governors University.

And, the origin of "We wish you a Merry Christmas" (and a Happy New Year) probably lies in the English tradition wherein wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve, such as "figgy pudding," which was very much like modern-day Christmas puddings. Other music in A Northwest Christmas concert - some of which will be audience singalong - include "Sing We Now of Christmas," "Ding dong! Merrily on High," "African Noel," and "Christmas Day."

Tickets for “A Northwest Christmas” are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at, by calling (224) 585-9127, or an hour prior to the concert at St. Raymond de Penafort Church, corner of Elmhurst Avenue and Lincoln Street in Mount Prospect.

Northwest Choral Society's next concert, "Flower Songs," will celebrate spring on May 5, 2024, at 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines. Rehearsals for NWCS' next session begins on Jan. 30, 2024.

NWCS' concert programs are sponsored in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

Founded in 1965, the Northwest Choral Society is a nonprofit organization that promotes and encourages the appreciation, understanding and performance of a wide variety of outstanding choral literature. Its adult membership resides in the greater Chicago area.

The Northwest Choral Society invites experienced singers to audition to join the organization. Basses, tenors, altos and sopranos with previous choral experience and at least 17 years of age can obtain additional information about the Northwest Choral Society at

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