Soprano Lisa Vroman, known for her long engagement with the Broadway stage, sang with a bit of blues lurking in her voice on "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" and "Some People See Him." Her voice had a hard edge in the top range at the end, but was silky everywhere else.
The evening's only disappointment was "O Holy Night." Vroman never seemed comfortable with the pitch and the chorus and the orchestra did not sound in balance with her.
She was fabulous in the second half of the concert, though. She sang a medley of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and "A Child is Born" to perfection and added an encore of "Think of Me" from "Phantom of the Opera" that was her best performance of the night.
Cooper had his usual fun with "Sleigh Ride" and elf boots (if you don't know what that is, go to the concert on Saturday).
"A Musicological Journey through 'The Twelve Days of Christmas'" made things like Gregorian chant, Renaissance polyphony, Handel choruses, Saint-Saens swans and Wagner's riding Valkyries funny.
Okay, maybe the Valkyries were already funny.
HG Young, conductor of the Parkersburg Community Chorus, Dirk Johnson, conductor of the West Virginia State University Chorus, and David Castleberry, conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Chorus, served admirably as a massed ensemble.
The concert repeats Saturday at 8 p.m at the Clay Center.