Joel Spears and Friends

December 17, 2018, 8:00 pm

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Lutist Joel Spears returns to WFMT with an early music ensemble to perform an early 17th century Christmas oratorio. The program features lutenist/guitarist Joel Spears, The Strangers, an early music vocal ensemble, plus accompaniment by harp, violin, organ, harpsichord, and theorbo.

The centerpiece of the Christmas concert will be the American premiere of a Christmas Oratorio first performed at the Vatican on December 24, 1629: Kapsberger’s I pastori di Bettelemme (The Shepherds of Bethlehem). This concert also includes virtuosic music for violin by Frescobaldi and Buonamente, and additional Christmas vocal music by Merula, Carissimi, and Palestrina.


Josefien Stoppelenburg – soprano, first angel
Nathalie Colas Grant, – soprano, second angel
Lindsay Mecher – mezzo-soprano, second shepherd, third angel, Testo
Luke Lemmeier – countertenor, first shepherd
Josh Pritchett – tenor, third shepherd
Matthew Cramer – baritone, fourth shepherd
Vince Wallace – bass, fifth shepherd


Joel Spears, theorbo and lute
Jason Moy, harpsichord and organ
Claire Happel Ashe, harp
Kiyoe Matsuura, violin
Isabelle Rozendaal, violin