Eric Holtan’s True Concord releases Christmas CD

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True Concord Voices & Orchestra, under the direction of Benson High School graduate Eric Holtan, has produced a new Christmas CD that was released Friday.

“True Concord: Carols in the American Voice” is inspired by True Concord’s annual Lessons & Carols by Candlelight concerts performed in the Tucson, AZ, area. It contains familiar carols in musical settings by American composers that are new or not widely known.

In 2015, True Concord released Far in the Heavens: Choral Music of Stephen Paulus, for which it received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance.

 “The focus is on sacred Christmas carols,” Holtan, a 1989 Benson High School graduate, said.  “Even in their simplest form, carols evoke emotionally powerful memories of personal and family experiences that enrich and enliven annual holiday celebrations.

Holtan, who is the son of Ron and Kathy Holtan of Benson, said the album’s production was assisted by advisor Dale Warland who “set the standard of excellence with several cherished Christmas recordings over the years by The Dale Warland Singers.”

Holtan attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter after graduating from BHS and went on to receive a doctorate in conducting from the University of Arizona, in Tucson in 2004.

While working on his doctoral degree, he said he dreamed of leading his own professional ensemble of singers and classical instrumentalists. He found the opportunity to realize that dream in Tucson.

Since then, the group has continued to build its reputation on the classical music scene in the Tucson area.

Of the album, Classical Minnesota Public Radio’s Brian Newhouse said: “I haven’t heard a new Christmas choral album as lovely as this in years. A gorgeous blend of voices, exquisite phrasing, and track after track of good cheer.”

To order the CD, go to: https://www.trueconcord.org/recordings/christmas-with-true-concord/

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