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Christmas Returns: Bach Christmas Oratorio at St Paul’s Anglican Uxbridge

Stu Beaudoin MA, MSMus, ARCCO, Composer, Conductor, Organist

UXBRIDGE: After a four year break, we are finally able to sing the 12 days of Christmas as conceived by J.S Bach. On Sunday, November 26th, at 7 p.m., St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Uxbridge, Ministry of the Arts, will host a performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio.

The performance will be in English. The Cantorei sine Nomine choir and Orpheus Symphonietta Orchestra, under the direction of Stuart Beaudoin, along with soloists, Melody Thomas, Shannon Coates, Benjamin Done and Sebastian Comeau will sing this marvelous setting of the Christmas story.

Director Stu gave us some insight into the project. In Christendom, Handel’s Messiah (1741) and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (1734) stand as the musical pillars of the Christmas season. Messiah, of course, is actually Easter music. The Christmas Oratorio is a series of six cantatas telling the story of the coming of Jesus, the shepherds, the magi and their significance to us.

Bach’s Oratorio is not often performed in the English speaking world and almost always performed in German. This performance is using a fine English translation to make the music and story accessible to the listener. Although this is only the third presentation of Bach’s setting to Uxbridge audiences, it would be the music of choice in Europe during the Christmas season. The new English translation allows this fabulous music to be accessible to our Christmas.

Stu says, “Bach is often thought of as heavy, detailed and difficult to listen to; but in this music he seems to be dancing for the whole program. Choruses are always upbeat and exciting; orchestra colours tell the story in sound; the soloists give us the scripture in the recitatives and commentary in the fabulous solos. It is a Christmas musical experience not to be missed. Your ears will be full of earworms.”

Tickets are $25 and are available at the door or by email, from, or by phone, to the church at 905-852-7016. Seating is limited so get a ticket in advance.

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