Watertown, NY – December 5, 2018 – For seventeen years, during the first weekend in December, crew members and television equipment from WPBS-DT invaded the Helen M. Hosmer Hall, part of the campus of the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. Since 2001, WPBS-DT has recorded and televised the annual Crane Candlelight Concert, featuring over 300 carolers and musicians from the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra. “In 2017, we taped our last Crane Candlelight Concert,” said Tracy DuFlo, Director of Production at WPBS-TV. “We’ve produced the program for the last seventeen years, and decided it was time for a change. This year, we’re focusing on local high school choirs.” That program, “High School Holiday Concert: Songs of the Season,” will air on WPBS-TV beginning December 16th. Check local listings for times.
Since 2003, every Crane Candlelight Concert has been broadcast nationally on PBS stations throughout the United States.
“The Crane Candlelight Concert: Let Us All Be Merry” will air on WPBS-TV on Monday, Dec. 17th at 10:00 pm; Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 4:00 pm; Monday, Dec. 24th at 9:00 pm; and Tuesday, Dec. 25th at 3:00 pm. Viewers can also watch online at watch.wpbstv.org beginning on Monday, December 17th.
The concert features over 300 carolers and musicians from the Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra, part of the renowned Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. The concert includes traditional Christmas and seasonal hymns along with popular favorites. Conducted by Jeffrey Francom and Kenneth Andrews, this year features the six-part cantata Vom Himmel hoch; the a capella hymn O Salutaris Hostia; two movements from George Whitefield Chawick’s inspiring Symphonic Sketches, the soulful One Sweet Little Baby; Jerusalem: A Meditation for Peace, a modern plea for world peace; a rousing rendition of Old American Carols; and the title track, Let Us All Be Merry.
Vom Himmel hoch (“From Heaven above”) is a cantata by Felix Mendelssohn from 1831, based on a composition written by Martin Luther in 1534. The song is an interpretation of Luke 2:8-18, a part of the Christmas story. The cantata includes a six-part mixed choir, soloists baritone Johnathan Stinson and soprano Colleen Skull, and full orchestra.
Symphonic Sketches, composed by George Whitefield Chadwick, features the first two of four movements. The second movement, Noël, was composed for the birth of Chadwick’s son, whose name Noël is French for Christmas.
O Salutaris Hostia (Latin for “O Saving Lord”), is a section of one of the Eucharistic hymns written by St. Thomas Aquinas for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Soloists Samantha Martin and Tessa Spencer lend their voices to this a cappella rendition by composer Ēriks Esšenvalds.
Jerusalem: A Meditation for Peace is a meditation on Jerusalem as not only a city, but a symbol of peace and hope for all people. Written in Hebrew by composer Kenneth Lampl, the piece is performed a cappella with extended phrases and overlapping harmonies.
Old American Carols blends the folk hymn I Wonder as I Wander with the traditional spiritual Go Tell It on the Mountain. This inspiring montage features full choir and orchestra.
Viewers can also watch some of the more recent Candlelight Concerts online at watch.wpbstv.org, including 2016’s “Brightest and Best,” and 2017’s “Laude!”
The Crane Candlelight Concerts have received national underwriting support for nine years from the SUNY North Country Consortium.
About The Crane School of Music
The renowned Crane School of Music, part of The State University of New York at Potsdam, was founded in 1886 by Julia Crane and was one of the first institutions in the country to have programs dedicated to preparing specialists in teaching music in public schools. Crane’s primary mission has always been to educate music teachers with an emphasis on excellence in performance. Over 550 undergraduate students and a faculty of 70 teachers and professional staff work hard to make The Crane School of Music a vital, innovative and exciting place.
WPBS-TV is a non-profit public television station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario. WPBS-TV’s mission: Trusted as the source for life-long education, entertainment, and information to our two-nation regions through quality media content, partnerships, and service that inspires those we serve. More information about WPBS is available at www.wpbstv.org, or by following WPBS on Twitter and Facebook.