The University of Mary Music Department will come alive with the sounds of the season as it presents the annual Christmas at Mary concerts, Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m., in Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel. Featured performers will include Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz, under the direction of Dr. Tom Porter, and the Gabrieli Brass, under the direction of Dennis Gowen.
The concert will provide a mix of traditional and familiar holiday favorites, such as "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Deck the Halls," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," as well as classical pieces on the Christmas theme by composers Randall Thompson, Palestrina, and Penderecki. The Concert Choir will perform "Lux aeterna" by Porter, a piece he wrote on commission in memory of longtime St. Mary's Central High School band director, William J. Schmidt. The piece uses the traditional Latin chant and weaves together contemporary melodies and harmonies.
Gabrieli Brass will perform in the Venetian tradition, standing in choirs around the chapel as the strains of music pass from one choir to another. On their recent tour to Italy, the Gabrieli Brass performed in the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice, where Gabrieli himself was choirmaster. This season, we welcome several outstanding brass students from local high schools who will join our university's brass performers along with U-Mary organist Jan Candee.
Prelude music prior to each performance will feature U-Mary chamber ensembles.
The concerts are free and open to the public, and a reception will follow each concert in the foyer of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business.