Music and Museum: A Skylark Christmas

Music and Museum: A Skylark Christmas



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Back by popular demand! To celebrate the season, the Atlanta-based Skylark Vocal Ensemble - a group of “soloists who come together to form a dynamic and inspiring whole” – returns to rattle the walls of the Bechtler with their glorious voices. Join Skylark for its annual journey through select excerpts of the Christmas story from the King James Bible, enhanced and celebrated through timeless carols. As a connecting thread throughout our performance, Skylark will share all 7 of Hugo Distler's variations of the classic Christmas hymn Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (“Lo, how a Rose ‘ere blooming”). The program will end with a festive offering of classic Christmas Carols by American composer Alfred Burt.

Hugo Distler was a German composer, known mostly for his church choral music. He attended the Leipzig Conservatory first as a conducting student with piano as his secondary subject, but changing later, on the advice of his teacher, to composition and organ. Hugo Distler's deep religious roots strongly influenced his compositional style. His pieces are very polyphonic, free, and frequently melismatic. Many are based on the pentatonic scale. These features are all characteristic of early sacred music. His works, few in number, are also quite virtuosic. Unfortunately, Distler's works were stigmatized by the Nazi regime as "degenerate art". Becoming increasingly depressed from the death of friends, aerial attacks, job pressures, and the constant threat of conscription into the German army, he committed suicide in Berlin at the age of 34.

"…[They] can sway you softly into calm and then all but throw you across the room with sheer harmonic force…Try it with good headphones. You’ll be a little different when Skylark is done with you…" – Porter Anderson, Music for Writers


Concerts are performed at noon and 6 p.m. in the fourth-floor gallery. For the noon concert, general seating is available starting at 11:30 a.m. For the 6 p.m. concert, general seating is available starting at 5:30 p.m. A cash-only bar is provided before the 6 p.m. concert.


Tickets are $12 per person for the public and just $8 per person for museum members. Purchase tickets online, by phone at 704.353.9200 or at the admission desk.

Image: Skylark Vocal Ensemble. Courtesy of

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ex © 2018 Bechtler Museum of Modern Art All images and content copyright. All rights reserved. Credits: Design: MODE. Artwork Photography: JoAnn Sieburg-Baker, David Ramsey General Photography: Eric Bahrs, Mitchell Kearney, Gary O'Brien, Nancy Pierce, Maxim Vakhovskiy Copywriting: Pam Davis Charlotte Skyline Photo: courtesy of Visit Charlotte School of Paris: John Boyer (Copy), MODE (Design)
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