Alaska Youth Choir presents holiday concert

Posted: Thursday, December 07, 2000

Favorite traditional Christmas songs and carols from around the world will be featured at the Alaska Youth Choir's annual holiday concert this weekend.

The Juneau Children's Peace Choir and the Juneau Youth Symphony will share the bill with the Alaska Youth Choir. Each will be featured in sets of their own and will join together for some combined pieces. The groups will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Northern Light United Church and 4 p.m. Sunday at Chapel By The Lake.

Katie Monagle, 12, has sung with the Alaska Youth Choir for three years. She's a soprano II, the secondtohighest vocal part, and she's looking forward to the Christmas concert.

"I like 'O Holy Night' a lot, 'I Wonder as I Wander' and I like 'The Holly and the Ivy,'" she said. "They're peaceful and slow, and I like Christmas songs that are slow and pretty and fun to sing."

Last year Monagle accompanied the concert choir on a trip to New York and plans to tour with the group this March.

"This year we're going to Vancouver, (B.C.) and there'll be people from all over the world singing with us," she said.

The youth choir was founded in 1994 and last year Missouri Smyth took over as director. The choir has two components, a 20-voice training choir and a 35voice concert choir. Placement depends upon experience and skill level. The concert choir will perform seven songs and the training choir will be featured on four songs. The two groups will join together for four songs, as well as a finale with the Juneau Children's Peace Choir and the Juneau Youth Symphony.

A quartet of four former members of the youth choir, billed as Alaska Youth Choir Alumni, will be featured in four traditional Christmas songs.

The youth symphony was founded 11 years ago by Juneau Symphony violist and music teacher Julia Young Bastuscheck. This year Dzantik'i Heeni Middle School music teacher Patrick Murphy took over as director. Murphy will lead the 15-member group this weekend in performances of Mendelssohn's "Scherzo for Strings." The instrumentalists will also accompany a mass choir of all the different singers for a finale of "O Holy Night."

The Juneau Children's Peace Choir is a 16member group of singers age 7 through 12, led by Tanya Roust. The peace choir will sing three songs, including the Christmas standards "Frosty The Snowman" and "Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer."

Tickets for the Alaska Youth Choir Holiday concerts are $8 for the general audience, $5 for students and seniors and $20 for families, available at the door.

Riley Woodford can be reached at

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