Consort Canzona to present Lessons and Carols in Carson City & Gardnerville |

Consort Canzona to present Lessons and Carols in Carson City & Gardnerville

Staff report
Consort Canzona in concert last year. The group’s holiday program, ‘Lessons and Carols,’ comes from ‘The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,’ first presented in England in 1880.
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A classic 19th Century holiday program is being brought to life in Carson City and Gardnerville.

Consort Canzona will present “Lessons and Carols” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 at Shepherd of the Sierra Lutheran Church, 3680 Highway 395, just south of Best Buy in Carson City.

The concert will repeat at 5 p.m. the following evening, Dec. 3, at Carson Valley United Methodist Church, 1375 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville.

“Lessons and Carols,” originally titled “The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” was first presented in 1880 by Edward Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury, for a Christmas Eve service in Truro, Cornwall, where he was then Bishop.

The Festival was created as a Christian worship service recounting the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus.

Selections from the Bible and religious writers of the Medieval and Renaissance eras, depicting the nine lessons, were interspersed with musical selections or hymns by the congregation.

Consort Canzona’s “Lessons and Carols” presents readings from the Bible and from poets, such as John Milton and Thomas Hardy.

Familiar carols from the Piae Cantiones, a 17th Century collection of Latin and Swedish songs that were taught and sung in cathedral schools, alternate with the readings.

To anchor the concert, Dietrich Buxtehude’s Das Newgeborne Kindelein (The Newborn Little Child) will be sung before Lesson 7, The Annunciation to the Shepherds.

Consort Canzona is a select group of instrumentalists and singers that specializes in early music.

Carson City musician Sharon Kientz formed it in 2009 for recorders, cello, and harpsichord. Singers were added in 2011. The group is directed by Gary Schwartz.

Admission to both concerts is free, and donations are welcome.

Consort Canzona, a performing group of the Carson City Symphony Association, is supported in part by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and by Association memberships and donations.

For more information, go to, or call the Symphony at 775-883-4154.