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11/29/2012 10:34:00 AM
'Stranded' choir returns to US for Christmas
Jesus College, Cambridge photo
The choir of Jesus College, Cambridge will perform at St. Mary Cathedral Dec. 14.
Jesus College, Cambridge photo
The choir of Jesus College, Cambridge will perform at St. Mary Cathedral Dec. 14.

The choir of Jesus College at Cambridge presents a concert of seasonal sacred music, “Journey into Light,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday Dec. 14, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Portland.

It's a rare Oregon appearance for the famous choir as part of a tour of the West Coast. The choir made the international headlines on its last visit to the USA, in 2010, when it was stranded in Washington D.C. as heavy snowfall forced Heathrow airport in London to close.

The youngest member of the group, chorister Arthur Considine, is 9, whilst all of the adult singers are students at the University of Cambridge, studying a wide range of subjects.

The director of music, Mark Williams, who has been a regular visitor to Portland as organist and conductor at the annual William Byrd Festival, is delighted that the choir will be singing in Portland.  

"My love of Oregon has grown during regular visits over the last 12 years, and when it was proposed that the choir visit the west coast, I insisted that we spend some time in Portland which has such a vibrant and varied cultural scene," Williams says. He says he's "thrilled to be able to introduce the young singers of Jesus College Choir to a city that has a special place in my heart."

The choir is made up of 14 boy choristers and 26 male and female undergraduate choral scholars. Jesus College was founded in 1496 at a former convent. Thomas Cranmer, who compiled the Book of Common Prayer, was a student there in the sixteenth century as were the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and, more recently, the Queen's son, Prince Edward, Duke of Wessex. Choristers and students have sung in the Chapel for over five hundred years and the choir now enjoys a reputation as one of the UK's finest young ensembles.

Tickets cost $20 general admission, $15 for students and seniors. They are available at brownpapertickets.com, 1-800-838-3006, or at the door.

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