First Parish in Wayland will present this major classical music choral work under the direction of Music Director Pauline Oliver as part of its 10 am Music Sunday performance December 15. The performance features two prominent new classical music singers from Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music

Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore (Laud to the Nativity) is a 25-minute piece that is part of a special, mostly music, one-hour service held twice a year. The public is welcome.

First Parish Choir will be joined by a woodwind and keyboard ensemble made up of some of Boston’s finest musicians. And, it will feature Boston Conservatory at Berklee soloists Erin Matthews, soprano, who sings the role of the Angel, and Megan Callahan, mezzo-soprano, who sings Mary.

Previous soloists include 2019 Met Opera National Council Auditions winner
First Parish’s Music Sunday program features some of the Boston area’s finest instrumentalists as well as rising young vocal stars. Michaela Wolz, who performed here in 2017 and 2018, won this year’s Metropolitan Opera National Audition. Other top Boston area classical music singers – like tenors Jason McStoots and Ray Bauwens and soprano Carla Chrisfield – have joined the church’s own talented singers and instrumentalists over the years.

Story line for Respighi performance
Many know Respighi for his The Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome and Roman Festivals tone poem trilogy. But Respighi composed with great success in many musical forms. Lauda is his last vocal/choral work. Here, a group of shepherds is called to Bethlehem by a host of angels. When they arrive, they can scarcely believe they are looking upon what the Angel (Matthews) claims to be a king, especially as the baby Jesus lies in a stall amongst farm animals. A chorus of angels, shepherds and mother Mary (Callahan) deliver some of the loveliest music of any choral work First Parish has presented, according to Music Director Oliver.

Come kick off your holidays with this grand and gorgeous piece!