BRIDGEPORT— Tickets are still available online and at the door for the “Arise and Shrine” Christmas Concert set for Friday night, 7:30 pm at the Klein Memorial in Bridgeport.
Now in its fourth season, the Arise and Shine concert performed by the Diocesan Youth Choir has become an evening that officially ushers in the celebration of Christmas in the diocese in a moment of beautiful song, joy and reverence.
More than 135 singers from grade six through seniors in college will perform traditional carols and contemporary favorites during this year’s concert, which will be attended by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.
The bishop called for the formation of the choir in 2014 to engage young people in the Church. He has offered his thanks and praise at each concert.
“I have great gratitude for this remarkable choir and all those who attend,” said the Bishop. More than one hundred young singers will give the gift of song and of their generosity and faith. The choir celebrates the real meaning of Christmas: the gift of an encounter with God who took flesh and was born to the Virgin Mary. The concert will help us encounter the Lord Jesus.”
The choir, which has rehearsed for months in settings throughout the diocese to prepare for the concert, will be led by Mary Bozzuti-Higgins of Wilton, a member of Our Lady of Fatima Parish. A former professional opera soprano, she is highly regarded for her work in conducting large music ensembles for schools and civic groups, and is the founding director of the Diocesan Youth Choir.
This year’s concert will feature a seven-piece ensemble, including piano, oboe, flute, trumpet, violin, trombone and percussion. Beginning with the customary first piece “Arise and Shine,” Bozzuti-Higgins has also chosen singer favorites like “Mary, Did You Know? ,” a modern Christmas classic, and “Believe,” a selection from the popular movie The Polar Express.
This year, students plan to combine with three children’s choirs from local parishes—St. Theresa in Trumbull, Our Lady of Fatima in Wilton, and St. Matthew in Norwalk—to perform “Christ Child Noel.” Additionally, concert-goers will be treated to the eight-movement musical journey “Were You There on That Christmas Night?” with four C4Y narrators and two college soloists accompanying the ensemble.
A highly anticipated number is always the final selection “Dark Is the Silent Night,” performed against a backdrop set to resemble a snow-topped pine forest. As the lights descend and the piece concludes, choir members hold small candles, enhancing the mood of the dark and silent night.
In addition to the regular choir, dozens of former C4Y members will be returning from college to participate, sharing that their devotion to their faith does not end when they graduate.
“We have 40 alumni performing,” said Bozzuti-Higgins, who holds the dress rehearsal with dinner, cookie swap and gift exchange for the entire choir the evening before the concert. “It’s so much fun for them that they keep coming back!”
In sharing a devotion to their faith through a passion for their music, the youth of C4Y will surely bring joy to all those who believe in the glory of this season.
General Admission tickets are $20 until December 20, $22.25 on December 21. On December 21, tickets can be purchased only at the door of the Klein, online or by calling 800.424.0160. To learn more about C4Y, please visit the Choir’s webpage.