By E.M. Fredric

Pasadena, CA (The Hollywood Times) 12/01/18 –When Jeffrey Bernstein, Artistic Director of the Pasadena Master Chorale (PMC) began work on programming A MOTHER’S CHRISTMAS, a program of holiday music composed by women, he knew exactly where to start – with “one of PMC’s own.”

On Saturday, December 15th at 8 p.m. in St. Philip the Apostle Church in Pasadena, the renowned ensemble will perform 18-year-old Katherine Beggs’ Ave Maria, a tribute to the mother who plays a starring role every Christmas.

“Katherine was a student at the Westridge School for Girls, right here in Pasadena, when she first came to our attention,” Bernstein recalls. “She took part in our ‘Listening to the Future’ program for three years as a student composer and, now, at Brown University, plans to major in music composition. We’re very proud of Katherine and are thrilled to share her artistry with our audience.”

Yet Beggs is not the only female composer within the PMC family. The Chorale will also perform an arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High by PMC soprano Jen Wang.

Jeffrey Bernstein

“Jen is very accomplished – so talented that I’ve no doubt we’ll be presenting more of her work in the future,” says Bernstein.

Additionally, PMC will showcase holiday-themed works by Abbie Betinis, Caroline Mallonée, Elizabeth Poston, Kathryn Rose, Emily Feld, Kira Zeeman Rugan, Dale Trumbore, and Amy Gordon. PMC’s student singers – middle schoolers from PUSD – will perform two of these works.

“It strikes me as odd that, while roughly half of all people are women, nowhere near half of performed composers are women,” Bernstein muses. “It’s been a delight to get to know so much exquisite choral music composed by women, and I can’t think of a better occasion to present it than Christmas, a season celebrating birth – something only mothers can give.”

Bernstein was especially thrilled to discover how perfectly music ‘birthed’ by female composers suited Pasadena Master Chorale. “It’s wonderful music – by turns reflective, poignant, and jubilant, with new arrangements of many familiar carols.” says Bernstein.

But the wonder doesn’t stop here. Words by female poets will be woven into the program.

“Altogether we’ve created a peaceful, gentle, and stunning evening.” Bernstein concludes. “A beautiful way to get in the holiday spirit.”

As has become a tradition at most PMC performances, A MOTHER’S CHRISTMAS will be presented on a “Listen First, Then Give” basis.

Tickets may be reserved for $0 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-mothers-christmas-tickets-51824648920#tickets or by visiting www.pasadenamasterchorale.org

For more information, visit the website or call 626.208.0009

St. Philip the Apostle Church is located at 151 South Hill Avenue in Pasadena, 91106.

Jeffrey Bernstein
St. Philip the Apostle Church