Musical numbers celebrating the holiday season will be in abundance Friday night when St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church on State Street in Schenectady presents its Christmas Concert, “O, Come Let Us Adore Him.”
Organized by St. Luke’s musical director Maria Riccio Bryce, the event brings together a number of Capital Region artists who performed during St. Luke’s Summer Music Festival. Among the musicians scheduled to participate are baritone John Allen, violinist Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, harpist Karlinda Caldicott, tenor Ward Dales, soprano Anne Dugan and cellist Petia Kassarova. All will be accompanied by Riccio Bryce on the piano along with the St. Luke’s choir.
‘O Come Let Us Adore Him’
WHAT: Christmas Concert
WHERE: St. Luke’s Roman Catholic Church, 1241 State St., Schenectady
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
HOW MUCH: No admission fee, donations will be accepted
MORE INFO: 346-3405 or www.stlukesofschenectady.org
“I saw how much our summer music was appreciated, and I suggested that we put together all of our artists in one grand concert at Christmastime,” said Riccio Bryce, referring to last year’s inaugural event. “We didn’t really know what to expect, but there were over 400 people in attendance so it exceeded all of our expectations.”
The Rev. Dominic P. Isopo didn’t have to think twice about holding the concert a second year.
“It was a big success last year, and we’re hoping to make this an annual event,” said Isopo. “We’re blending classical music with musical theater. We’re showing the universality of music in a sacred environment.”
Mix of styles
According to Riccio Bryce, the diverse experience of the individual performers is a big part of what makes Friday’s concert so special.
“It’s a mix of musical styles in terms of the performers,” she said. “Our backgrounds, our professional experiences and our artistry, I think we complement each other uniquely.”
The three instrumentalists — Caldicott, Kassarova and Barker Schwartz — are all classically trained musicians, while Allen, Dales, Dugan and Riccio Bryce also have plenty of musical theater background.
“Somehow when we are all together, you get a sense of the various gifts we were each given, and the way we put them together, the way we share them with each other and with the audience is pretty special.”
According to Isopo, the concert was originally designed for members of St. Luke’s only.
“We planned it for just our parish, but then we decided to open it to the public because it’s a great opportunity to provide wonderful music for people who may not get the chance to go to Glimmerglass or the symphony. We’ve actually received phone calls from outside the area asking us if we were going to do the concert again. We made 400 programs last year and we ran out of them, so we’ll make more this year.”