Wooster Music Club holds special holiday program

Wooster Music Club holds special holiday program

The Wooster Music Club met Dec. 7 at the Wooster United Methodist Church in Wesley Hall. There was no business meeting scheduled in order to accommodate a special Christmas program presented by members of the club. Kathy Helmuth, club president, greeted members, guests and additional guests from the Wooster United Methodist Church.

The program began with “We Three Kings,” a popular Christmas carol performed by Annie Gerig on the English horn. This was followed by a prayer written and recited by Louie Miller. Meg Litteral narrated two original poems, “Fred” and “The Song of December,” followed by the poem “Solstice” written by Thomas Hornsby Ferril.

Helmuth then introduced the main event of the evening, “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” a one-act opera written by Gian-Carlo Menotti in 1951. Helmuth said as a child she watched this story for many years in the 1950s and ‘60s when it became a very popular annual TV program. This opera she loved as a child became the inspiration for writing her own adaptation of this story and presenting it to the Wooster Music Club.

Helmuth said most of the wording is true to the original score. However, the words would be spoken by the actors involved. She gave thanks to Gerig for her music arrangements of the woodwind duets, performed by Gerig on English horn and Helmuth on flute.

She then introduced the cast of characters and musicians involved in this adaptation. Playing the part of the narrator and mother was Day Logan. Judithe Craig played the part of King Melchior. Myra Leeper was on piano, Gerig on English horn, and Helmuth as the lead part of Amahl and performing flute interludes and duets. For the scene of the Shepard’s Dance, Litteral performed on fiddle, accompanied by Stephanie Mussleman on piano and J.R. Rhodebeck on the Irish drum. Sound for the production was provided by Tim Wilson.

The Wooster Music Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. with the exception of January and February at Wesley Hall in the Wooster United Methodist Church. Guests are welcome.