The National Children’s Chorus and the London Symphony Orchestra celebrate diversity along with the season on their multi-cultural, international holiday album Illumine — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The NCC is one of the fastest-growing and most successful youth arts organizations in the United States, with worldwide recognition and top-level accolades. This week, along with the debut of Illumine, they also announced their 2023/2024 season Thrive. “We chose the word Thrive as our theme for the next year because we believe it is exactly what our students are ready to do. Since the events of 2020, we have learned how music powerfully enables us to survive challenging times. Now, in Season 2023/24, we deeply consider what it means for each student to thrive, and what truly is needed to bring out the best in them,” said Luke McEndarfer, artistic director and CEO.
Illumine marks the chorus’s first holiday album produced in collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra. This exquisite musical collection, recorded at Abbey Road Studios and AIR Studios in London, features a diverse array of holiday expressions from around the world. Amplifying underrepresented voices in choral music and ensuring that this commemorative tribute reflects its vibrant national membership, the NCC commissioned multiple works and arrangements for the record, with new music sung in Hebrew, Tagalog, Spanish and Hindi.
The National Children’s Chorus is set to sing seasonal performances including tracks from Illumine in chapter cities including Los Angeles, New York, Washington, San Francisco, Austin, Dallas and Boston.
Listen to Illumine below and get more information at the NCC website.
Illumine Track List
1 | Carol of the Bells — A timeless classic arranged by Peter Wilhousky.
2 | Himig Pasko (Christmas Song) — A treble choir arrangement of a traditional Filipino carol commissioned from George Hernandez.
3 | Yaldei Haor (Children of Light) — A song of hope featuring Hebrew and English lyrics by composer Sharon Farber.
4 | Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day — A joyful arrangement by John Rutter featuring Isabelle Miller and Michael Jamrozek as soloists.
5 | A La Nanita Nana — A newly commissioned work based on the traditional Spanish carol, arranged by Carlos Cordero.
6 | I Dream A World — André J. Thomas’s powerful piece with lyrics by Langston Hughes and lush orchestration by Robert Elhai.
7 | Betelehemu — A lively Nigerian carol arranged by Andy Beck.
8 | In Winter — Victor C. Johnson’s composition with a new orchestration written for strings by Nicholas Nicassio.
9 | I Saw Three Ships — John Frederick Hudson’s exhilarating arrangement featuring a four-hand piano accompaniment and brass and percussion.
10 | Northern Lights — Ola Gjeilo’s stunning piece painting a vivid soundscape of the aurora borealis.
11 | Ose Shalom — John Leavitt’s beautiful reminder of peace, featuring baritone Samuel Siskind as soloist.
12 | Diya Jalein — A vibrant, rhythmical piece commissioned by Gaayatri Kaundinya, inspired by the Hindu celebration of Diwali.
13 | Glow — Eric Whitacre”s soothing song describing a winter scene filled with softly falling snow.
14 | It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year — An exciting version arranged by Bob Krogstad and Simon Curtis.
15 | Lully, Lulla, Lullay — A beautiful arrangement by Philip W.J. Stopford, featuring soprano soloist Andrea Nalywajko.
16 | The World for Christmas — Anders Edenroth’s a cappella work with a plea for environmental care, featuring soloists Guiliana Leto and Jackson Janis.
17 | Silent Night — Rhonda Polay’s popular setting with an orchestration that intensifies with each verse, featuring soloist Lucy Altus.