Arizona Daily Wildcat Online
Front Page
· Football
· Basketball
· Columnists
Live Culture
Police Beat
Online Crossword
Photo Spreads
Special Sections
The Wildcat
Letter to the Editor
Wildcat staff
Job Openings
Advertising Info
Student Media
Arizona Student Media info
UATV - student TV
KAMP - student radio
Daily Wildcat staff alumni

Campus: Chorus sends seasons greetings

By Lindsey Muth
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, December 4, 2003
Print this

The sounds of the holiday season will ring out from St. Augustine Cathedral Sunday as the UA choral department presents its annual holiday concert. The Holiday Card to Tucson is a free concert (donations will be accepted) that will benefit the choral department and further the restoration of the cathedral.

Holiday music brings to mind "the uplifting message of hope, love and compassion for all people" for Lee Nelson, assistant conductor of the University-Community Chorus. Nelson is a choral conducting graduate student at the UA. "The music associated with the holidays conjures up this message in all of our minds, and the joy that it brings to all of our hearts," Nelson said.

Choral music enthusiasts need look no further than the program of this holiday extravaganza. The concert will include performances by the U-C Chorus, the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, the UA Outreach Choir and even a handbell choir. In all, more than 300 performers will participate in the event.

Although the concert focuses primarily on the upcoming Christmas holiday, the beauty of the music allows people from all backgrounds and beliefs to enjoy the concert. "Great choral music, presented in a great performance space, can be powerful, no matter the text," said UA Symphonic Choir Director and music doctoral student Jamie Spillane.

"Whether audience members are sympathetic to the different messages found in all of the texts or none of the texts, the choral music will be glorious and the effect powerful," Spillane said.

For many, holiday music brings with it a sense of nostalgia. Tunes like "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland" are stored away in our collective unconscious and resurface each December over the loudspeakers at the grocery store or in the background of TV commercials.

"Holiday music is a strong part of our national heritage," Spillane said. "Even with the great diversity of America, holiday music is a large part of our musical background. We are bombarded by commercial music of the season as we shop, but many Americans have a strong history of more meaningful holiday music, whether in church or as part of family celebrations."

The roster for the concert contains more than the holiday standards. Along with classics such as "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night" songs such as "El Rorro" and "In the Bleak Midwinter" will also join the program.

Rehearsals for the concert have been consuming. The U-C Chorus has spent 2 1/2 hours weekly since November in group rehearsals, and the UA Symphonic Choir has been putting in an hour every day for the past seven weeks in preparation. "This diverse group comes together every Tuesday night for the same reason: their love of singing and making music," Nelson said. "Their repertoire consists of music by major composers ... Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, etc. ... with full orchestral complement."

"The Symphonic Choir has been a part of this event for as long as it has taken place," Spillane said. "I am thrilled to have the Symphonic Choir take part. St. Augustine's Cathedral is possibly the best place to present choral music in Tucson; it is inspiring to present choral music in a venue that moves both performer and audience alike."

The concert promises to be a delight for the senses. The beauty of the music will be set off by the cathedral's classical surroundings. No matter your religious affiliations, there will likely be something to move you at the Holiday Card to Tucson concert.

"This is possibly an anachronistic type of concert for the university," Spillane said, "but it is one of the best attended. It has become an event that over a thousand Tucsonans look forward to year after year."

"We hope to see many UA students at the concert," Nelson said. "And ... if anyone is interested in joining one of the choirs at UA, it would be a great opportunity to see them in performance."

Write a Letter to the Editor
Old school fun
Are you game?
Game it up around Tucson
Events Calendar
Campus: Chorus sends seasons greetings
Hip hop hits union ballroom
Campus: Students Īcoalesce'
Food: A different taste of Greek life
Film: Journalism movie is good ÷ no lie
Film: Sylvia doesn't satisfy
Music Reviews
Restaurant and Bar guide
Search for:
advanced search Archives

Webmaster -
© Copyright 2003 - The Arizona Daily Wildcat - Arizona Student Media