JHS 95th A Cappella Vespers • December 8 – December 15

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Pictured is the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir of 1958-59, the first year under the direction of Mr. Donald B. Bubé.
Pictured is the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir of 1958-59, the first year under the direction of Mr. Donald B. Bubé.

The Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir will hold its 95th Annual A Cappella Vespers this Sunday, December 8th and December 15th at 4 p.m. in the First Lutheran Church. . There is no admission and a free-will offering will be taken. The December 15 th performance will include A Cappella alumni with over 150 alumni scheduled to participate. If any alumni would like to perform in the December 15 th Vespers, please email jhsacappellachoir@gmail.com for more information.

“This year is especially exciting…in addition to the celebration of our 95th Anniversary the choir will be performing in the Candlelight Processional at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 28 th ,” said JHS A Cappella Director Norm Lydell. “A Cappella will be joined by two additional high school choruses, a professional chorus, the Voices of Liberty Disney Ensemble, a philharmonic orchestra, and guest narrator Marlee Matlin for two performances of 14 Christmas songs.  This is a tremendous amount of music to prepare in addition to our annual Vespers repertoire, but the choir is working very hard on every word and every note. We thank the community for their continued support of all the music events and ensembles at Jamestown High School.”

The 80-voice JHS A Cappella Choir features smaller ensembles, including the Madrigal Singers, Men of Tomorrow and Ladies of Today. Brian Bogey, A Cappella director from 1982-2003, will provide accompaniment on piano and organ. The Madrigal Singers will also perform over 20 performances out in the local community.

The Vespers are a community tradition established in 1924 by Miss Ebba Goranson, founder of the Jamestown High School A Cappella Choir. Each December, the JHS A Cappella performs two sacred music concerts at First Lutheran Church, featuring excerpts from major choral works and seasonal songs and carols as a way to provide a bit of cheer for this time of year. The Annual Vespers tradition continues under the direction Norman Lydell and Director Emeritus Brian Bogey as accompanist.

Choral music education has enjoyed a long, rich tradition at Jamestown High School.  Ebba H. Goranson, who directed the choir from 1924 until her passing in 1957, founded the A Cappella Choir 94 years ago. Donald B. Bubé served as choral director from 1958-1981. Brian A. Bogey moved into the director’s position in 1982 from the highly successful Jefferson Jr. High choral program. Since his retirement in 2003, Brian continues to serve our community as conductor, educator, musician, and advocate for vocal education. Brian continues to support the efforts of the A Cappella through friendship, counsel, and as choir accompanist. It is with deep appreciation, admiration and affection that we continue the life work of our founder and directors.

The A Cappella Choir is known as the “Choir of Cathedrals.” Performances include the National Shrine Basilica in Washington, D.C; New York City’s famed Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church; St. Michael’s R.C. Cathedral in Toronto, Canada; St. Stephan’s Cathedral in Vienna, (home of the Vienna Boys Choir); the Basilica in Innsbrook; the Cathedral in Salzburg; England’s Saint Paul’s athedral, Westminster Cathedral & Salisbury Cathedral; Saint Anne de Beaupre and Notre Dame Basilica in Quebec City, Canada; New York City’s Saint John the Divine Cathedral, the famous Park Avenue United Methodist Church and the historic Saint Peter’s Lutheran Church; Boston’s Old North Church; Washington D.C.’s National Presbyterian Church; Chicago’s Queen of All Saints Basilica and Fourth Presbyterian Church; the Baltimore Basilica and the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church . The choir has participated in master classes at Harvard University, North Park University, and the University of Maryland. The choir has performed at professional sporting events and historical sites, including the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, the Holocaust Museum, the Kennedy Center, Arlington National Cemetery, and Fort McHenry, (birthplace of our national anthem). In December of 2009, the Madrigal Singers performed with recording artist Kenny Rogers. In February 2014, the A Cappella Choir performed at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. In December of 2015, the A Cappella performed with acclaimed performing artist Jim Brickman. In the spring of 2016, the A Cappella toured Washington, D.C. and in 2018, the choir toured Baltimore, Maryland.

could have been placed in any of the performance slots Disney has throughout the holiday season. We really wanted the New Year’s Eve Parade and we were chosen! It’s the busiest day of the year for Disney so we will be performing for a large audience.”

Four packed buses, 160 students and 26 chaperones and staff are leaving December 26 for a great week of fun, new experiences and lots of music. The band and choir have been fund raising for the past year. While most of the costs are now covered, some students do not have any extra for souvenirs or food. The community’s support would be very welcome. One can donate in a student’s name or direct the contribution to needy students. The students will be able to experience the parks for a couple of the days on the trip, returning to Jamestown on January 2, 2020.

Ms. Murray added, “We are very pleased to be able to give our students this great opportunity and life experience to travel and perform. Many would never have this experience otherwise, also for many of our students this is their first time away from home and their families. We have high standards for performance and behavior. They learn how to travel, how to be safe, how to be on time and generally, be a good citizen.”

Jamestown sends its best wishes to the A Cappella Choir and Red Raider Marching Band as they once again carry on a long tradition of making us all proud to call Jamestown home.