Photo courtesy of Linda Gingrich                                Master Chorus Eastside at their 2017 performance of “A Christmas Carol.”

Photo courtesy of Linda Gingrich Master Chorus Eastside at their 2017 performance of “A Christmas Carol.”

A Christmas chorale shines new light on classic Dickens tale

A synthesis of readers theater and Christmas carols, Master Chorus Eastside presents “A Christmas Carol.”

The Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” will take a new form this season with Master Chorus Eastside (MCE).

A poignant synthesis of Christmas carols and readers theater, this rendition of “A Christmas Carol” will intertwine holiday carols with dramatic readings drawn directly from the timeless story of redemption and joy.

Actor David Ketter stars as the narrator, and Village Theater veteran John Deveney stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. Smaller roles, such as the Cratchit family, will be played by MCE members.

“It’s amazing how well the story and the carols fit together. It’s no accident the original story is called ‘A Christmas Carol;’ they were made for each other,” MCE artistic director and conductor Dr. Linda Gingrich said. “And we feel especially fortunate to have David Ketter and John Deveney in the starring roles.”

For Gingrich, this is one of her favorite concerts. She developed a script for the first choral “Christmas Carol” in 1995.

“It was absolutely magical,” she said. “It’s amazing how it all fits together. It’s as if we’re gathering for a story supported by music. I get choked up while conducting it.”

Though the show debuted in 1995, it’s only been performed a handful of times, Gingrich said. The original actor who portrayed Scrooge died in the early 2000s.

“We just didn’t know how to do it without him,” she said. “But we didn’t want to let [the show] go.”

After an almost 10-year hiatus, the production returned in 2015, and again in 2017.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Gingrich said. “It’s been a joy to see it all come together and see the amateur actors rise up.”

The MCE choral “A Christmas Carol” will be held at Faith United Methodist Church at 7 p.m. on Dec. 7 and at 3 p.m. on Dec. 8. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets . To learn more about MCE, go online to

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