Performing Arts

Transylvania Choral Society: Christmas Oratorio and As Memories Fade

picture of choral group

The Transylvania Choral Society (TCS) presents two innovative concerts this season. The first is the North American premiere of Christmas Oratorio, a work by revered British composer Bob Chilcott, on Thursday, December 12, at 7:30 p.m. in the Paul Porter Center for the Performing Arts at Brevard College. The piece, completed in 2019, is a retelling of the Christmas story with words from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew intertwined with poetry from the 16th to 19th centuries.

Christmas Oratorio can take its place alongside masterworks such as Handel’s Messiah and Vivaldi’s Gloria by setting familiar texts to new music that immediately captures the beauty of the Christmas season,” says TCS artistic director and conductor David Gresham. “Along with choral movements and solo parts, the Oratorio contains four new sing-along hymns with which we will familiarize the audience so they can join in.”

On Thursday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Porter Center, TCS will perform As Memories Fade, a concert featuring, among other works, Robert S. Cohen’s 2009 composition Alzheimer’s Stories. Edward Shaw, co-author of the bestselling book Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade: The 5 Love Languages and the Alzheimer’s Journey, will make presentations both before and after the concert to discuss the emotional impact of the piece.

“When David Gresham suggested Alzheimer’s Stories, we all got pretty excited, as the composition is new, different and very relevant,” says TCS member Susan Hindman. “Some of us have been caretakers for those with the disease, and singing about it makes it less scary.”

TCS is a volunteer community choir that prepares and presents a wide array of sacred and secular choral music at least twice a year. TCS is open to all vocalists who are interested in performing choral music within a concert setting. Auditions are not required and membership is not limited to residents of Transylvania County.

Porter Center for the Performing Arts is located at 400 North Broad Street, Brevard. Tickets to Christmas Oratorio are $10 and are available at

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