'Tis the season once again for holiday tunes and sacred hymns. Musikanten gets in the spirit by performing Advent and Christmas chamber music Saturday at All Saints Church, Chevy Chase Circle; and again on Sunday, at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Old Town, Alexandria. Both concerts begin at 4 p.m. and will present Christmas music spanning five centuries, including works by Tomas Luis de Victoria, Johannes Ockeghem, Francis Poulenc and Arnold Schoenberg.
The 16-member chamber group was formed in 1979 by director Kerry Krebill, who says, "I was working on a masters degree in choral conducting at Catholic University . . . and I didn't have a choir." So she asked some friends if they would be interested in forming a group -- Musikanten -- which she began with the goal of sustaining during her two-year graduate program. It has continued for more than six years, however, and Krebill says, "We've all grown in skill and experience."
The members of the choral group have strong musical backgrounds. "We have two basic requirements for the singers," says Krebill. "They really need to be able to read whatever is put in front of them, and they need to be able to sing a straight, blended sound . . . We have a lot of solo singers, but they are soloists within the group. We get our kicks chorally."