What: Central Oregon Mastersingers presents “Magnificat!”

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend

Cost: $17-$32 plus fees

Contact: towertheatre.org or 541-317-0700

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes, and that’s true for the Central Oregon Mastersingers. The premier concert choir will perform contemporary composer John Rutter’s “Magnificat” and other works this weekend at the Tower Theater in Bend.

Its Christmastime performances always prove popular — and sell out just about every year, said director Christian Clark, in his second season leading the Mastersingers.

The choir will give two performances of its annual Christmastime concert, which kicks off with holiday favorites such as “Deck the Hall” and “Jingle Bells.” The powerful 41-voice choir will also perform “Silent Night.”

“Silent Night” is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year, Clark said. It was composed in Austria with German lyrics, and the Mastersingers will honor the bicentennial by presenting a portion in its initial form.

“So we’re going to sing the original version, a couple of verses in German with guitar, how we think it would’ve sounded 200 years ago,” Clark said. “And then we’ll also have the audience join in and sing with us what we know today, the English verse.”

The choir will also sing a new arrangement of “Silent Night,” based on the same text, but with a brand-new melody and harmony, he said.

That’s the first half of the concert. The back half is composed of Rutter’s “Magnificat,” which is about 40 minutes in length and was completed in 1990. Rutter, Clark explained, is “a really well-known choral composer, specifically for music of the church. … ‘Magnificat’ is a sacred text. The text comes from the biblical canticle “Song of Mary.” Most of the text is in Latin, although one of its seven movements is set to a Medieval English text, “Of a Rose, a lovely Rose.”

“It was a text that John Rutter himself said that he always wanted to set to music,” Clark said, describing the resulting work as a “bright, exuberant … joyful piece of music.”

A sizable orchestra of 25 players will join Mastersingers for the “Magnificat” portion of the concert. The orchestra is made up of musicians from Central Oregon Symphony, local high schools, Central Oregon Community College, and schools farther afield, according to Clark.

“We’ve got a couple of college students that come back home for the holidays that are playing with us,” he said. “So we’re always excited to welcome them back.”

On the whole, Clark said, “I’m real excited about the program this year. I think it’s going to be exciting and high, high quality, so I hope to see a lot of people there.”

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