In our quest to bring Aleteia readers the finest Christian music, we recently stumbled upon a sublime rendition of “In Christ Alone,” from the sacred choir Serenity Ensemble. The singers are on point for this live recording, but what may have stolen the show for us was the little one who was getting fussy off screen before the choir began.
What initially drew our attention to this excellent rendition of the 21st-century hymn was the way the chorus begins the piece. It starts so tenderly, with the male voices singing the lyrics of the melody with the female voices supporting them with gentle humming. This intro slowly grows from pianissimo to a grand forte as they all begin the first verse as one.
Serenity Ensemble creates a wonderful musical texture by alternating the supporting lines between the male and female voices. In the third verse the entire chorus sings of Christ’s victory on the same melody only to fall back into their splendid harmonies. The piece culminates when they bring back the meandering intro that leads to a breathtaking modulation, raising the piece into a higher key that denotes a more victorious tone.
The choir is so good that it even quiets a rambunctious baby, who had a lot to say about this performance. Almost as though the child wants to sing along from the beginning, the babe warms up its little voice while the chorus sings the hushed tones of their intro and it got a little louder as the first verse began, but fewer and fewer outbursts can be heard as the piece progresses. By the final grand verse, the child is quieted, almost as though it was transfixed by the song.
While Serenity Ensemble has their own YouTube channel, there is only one video uploaded by the group. There are, however, quite a few recordings from this fine chorus on the YouTube channel of CCCLivestream2. Click the link to hear more from Serenity Ensemble.