Indianapolis Symphonic Choir to present the ‘Festival of Carols’ • Current Publishing
Mary Jo Wright, a member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, failed to sing with her friends during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are delighted to be back live this year,” said Wright. “It was really hard not to be together last year because we’re like family.”
The Carmelite resident has been a member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir for seven years. The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir will perform the “Festival of Carols” from December 17 to 19 at the Palladium of the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. Shows are at 8 p.m. on December 17 and at 3 p.m. on December 18 and 19.
“Festival of Carols is one of the biggest performances that we put on just by the Symphonic Choir,” Wright said. “It’s a real pleasure to sing at the Palladium.”
Wright said there are always two songs the choir does every year. One is “The Dream of Isaiah Saw”.
“It was written after September 11. It’s a beautiful song, ”Wright said. “It’s written to focus on what’s really important. “
The music was written by Glenn Rudolph and the lyrics are by Thomas Troeger.
“He started it in July (2001) and finished it on September 30 after knowing what happened on September 11,” Wright said. “This is a magnificent piece dedicated to the memory of those who perished on September 11th.”
Wright said the show always ends with “Hallelujah” from Handel’s “Messiah”.
“We changed other parts every year,” she said. “We have some really good pieces this year. I know when people hear “Festival of Carols” they think we’re just going to get up and sing Christmas carols. (While) they are, these are some of the most beautiful choral (songs) that were written around this time.
Wright said there is a competition every year for new artists who are not well published. ISC Artistic Director Eric Stark and his team choose a song to perform.
“We are giving it what is considered its world premiere,” Wright said. “This year’s play is called“ Gather Around the Holy Manger ”. It shows how powerful it is to be gathered around the manger and to welcome the Son of God. There is always a fun (song) written by an accomplished keyboardist. It shows a lighter side of our choir.
Wright is a retired elementary school teacher. She has taught at Sycamore School in Indianapolis, Park Tudor, and Washington Township in Indianapolis. She retired seven years ago.
“I’ve always sung, and my husband told me that you should really audition for the Symphonic Choir,” she said. “I was shocked to have succeeded. I had this voice I didn’t know what to do with. I succeeded and learned so much. We have doctors, engineers and professors, all kinds of professional backgrounds, in the choir. We audition every year and everything is voluntary.
“I learned more about how to read music from Dr. Stark. It’s such a blessing to be a part of it.
Wright’s husband, Phillip Wright, is a pastor at Traders Point Christian Church.
To learn more, visit indychoir.org.