The economic Grinch has claimed another victim.

The Bach Meistersingers' Christmas Concert, which was scheduled for Dec. 15 at St. Anne's Church, has been canceled.


Explained the group's spokesman, Val Hymes: "We can't afford the big chamber orchestras. Our first concert 10 years ago cost $600, andthe one last year cost $3,600. So if we do any concerts in future, we'll use a harpsichord, and maybe two or three other instruments."

Group president Olive Moochler explained in a letter to supporters that "Costs have increased, support has dried up, and grants have beenfrozen or cut. We need to regroup and refocus our musical resources.Gone are the days of the costly orchestrated works for our organization. A group of 20 choristers can no longer support an orchestra and soloists of the same number."


Created in 1981 by John E. Cooper and others, the group has for 10 years studied and performed the works of Renaissance and Baroque composers.

Their repertoire features sacred music that Cooper feels was important to the times.

"We are not doing the top 10 choral pieces," he said. Instead, "We explore theseldom heard and more obscure music of (those) eras."

The group'stwice-yearly concerts, normally presented in December and either April or May, have been performed traditionally at St. Anne's Church in Annapolis, where the acoustics and architecture helped enhance the group's reputation.

Afterward there was a Colonial-style candlelightreception, with members of the Severn Town Club as hosts, re-creating the ambience of Annapolis in the 1700s.

Auditions for the group's next concert, planned for the spring, will be held by appointment, starting at 8 p.m. Jan. 13 at St. Anne's Church.

Information: 647-5581.