Choral Christmas Concerts Set for Dec. 4-5

Nov. 30, 1998

by Richard Veit

The annual Combined Choirs Christmas Concert, always a highlight of Baylor University's Christmas celebrations, will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in Jones Concert Hall. The program will feature the 64-voice A Cappella Choir, conducted by assistant professor of choral activities John W. McLean Jr., and the 105-voice Concert Choir, conducted by lecturer in choral music Charles Neufeld. The Baylor Symphony Orchestra, led by Stephen Heyde, the Mary Franks Thompson Professor of Orchestral Studies and Conductor-in-Residence, also will perform.

Organ preludes played by students Joanna Elliott and Eric Mellenbruch will open the program. The choirs will sing as a processional "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" followed by Russell Schulz-Widmar's "Midnight Clear." A student group, the Brazos Brass Quintet, will present a work written by Stephen Heyde, "Christmas Brings Joy," and the women of the choirs will sing "In Bethlehem" by Ralph Vaughan Williams. That same composer's Fantasia on "Greensleeves" also will follow, as will two pieces by Felix Mendelssohn, "He, Watching Over Israel" and "There Shall a Star Come Out of Jacob."

The combined choirs and orchestra will perform a set of three pieces -- Louis-Claude Daquin's "Noel, We Sing," Robert Young's "There Is No Rose of Such Virtue," and Gustav Holst's "Christmas Day." The orchestra will play its conductor's own arrangement of "The Promise Kept," as well as Carmen Dragon's setting of "O Tannenbaum" and Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival."

"Candlelight Carol" by John Rutter, Robert Shaw's arrangement of "Fum, Fum, Fum," Kurt Kaiser's arrangement of "Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head," the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel's "Messiah" and Franz Gruber's beloved "Silent Night" will conclude the program.

General admission tickets for the Combined Choirs Christmas Concert are $5. For information, call the Baylor School of Music at 710-3991.

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