The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: The acclaimed Madison Choral Project will perform its third annual Holiday Concert this FRIDAY night (NOT Saturday) and Sunday afternoon. It features two world premieres plus readings from Shakespeare, Rumi and the Bible | December 15, 2015

By Jacob Stockinger

The acclaimed Madison Choral Project (below top), under the direction of its founder and conductor Albert Pinsonneault (below bottom) — who used to teach at Edgewood College and now teaches at Northwestern University — will present two performances of its third annual holiday concert, “A Procession of Angels,” this weekend.

(NOTE: You can hear the Madison Choral Project singing its beautiful a cappella arrangement of the carol “Angels We Have Heard on High” in a YouTube video at the bottom.)

Madison Choral Project 5-15 1

Albert Pinsonneault 2

The popular Holiday program will be performed twice in Madison; this Friday night, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational United Church of Christ at 1609 University Ave. and again on Sunday night, Dec. 20, at 2:30 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Living Christ, 110 N. Gammon Rd.

The concerts feature Christmas music, as well as music from other traditions, and TWO WORLD PREMIERES of new compositions: “My Brilliant Image” by Madison composer and MCP singer Jasper Alice Kay (below top); and a new arrangement of “Deck the Hall” by the award-winning composer Jocelyn Hagen (below bottom). Other guests artists are also featured.

Jasper Alice Kay

Jocelyn Hagen

Wisconsin Public Radio‘s news director Noah Ovshinsky (below) again joins the MCP to read selected texts that relate to the theme of the concert. There will also be a chance for the audience to join in on some holiday sing-alongs.

Noah Ovshinsky

Music by composers such as Dominick Argento (below top), Felix Mendelssohn (below bottom), Alexander Sheremetev, William Billings, Ola Gjeilo and Kenneth Jennings, among others, will represent many of the points of view that unite the public in reflection upon the season.

dominick argento 1


Also featured is John Aley (below), a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of music and the virtuoso principal trumpet of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and the reading of texts by William Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Hildegard von Bingen as well as from the Bible and from the mystic Sufi Arabic and Persian poets Ibn Arabi and Rumi.

john aley color

The Madison Choral Project, founded in 2012, is Madison’s professional choir. Its 22 voices are made up of professional singers, teachers and graduate students from the Madison Area.

The MCP says it “is committed in its mission to enrich lives in our community by giving voice to the great music of our diverse world; to express, to inspire, to heal; to garner joy in the experience of live music; and to educate and strengthen the next generation of singers and listeners.”

Tickets are available in advance at as well as at the door of each performance venue. ($25 at the door, $20 advance tickets and $10 student tickets with student I.D.)

For more information, visit:


  1. Jake, your post listed prices as $25 at the door; $20 in advance, but when I went to order one ticket online (in advance), the price was $40. Will you please check this out and correct as necessary? Thanks!


    Comment by Kathy Lewinski — December 15, 2015 @ 2:08 pm

    • Hi Kathy,
      The $40 price is for preferred seating. When you go to order tickets, use the drop-down menu labeled “TYPE” to select the date you would like to attend and the option should say “GENERAL.”

      I hope that is helpful! If you have any further questions, just email


      Comment by Laura Pinsonneault — December 15, 2015 @ 2:29 pm

  2. Hi, Jake — The dates you post for the two concerts are confusing — in the headline, you say this Saturday and Sunday, but in the body of the write-up, you say Friday and Sunday. I’m assuming the statement in the body of the text is correct, in which case you should correct the headline (or conversely, if the opposite is true).


    Comment by Tim Adrianson — December 15, 2015 @ 8:13 am

    • Hi Tim,
      Thank you for your sharp eye and for replying.

      You are absolutely correct. The text is correct about dates — Friday night and Sunday afternoon — and I have corrected the headline. I apologize to all for the mistake and inaccuracy as well as for any inconvenience.


      Comment by welltemperedear — December 15, 2015 @ 8:21 am

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