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UW’s Gala Holiday Concerts Return Dec. 11-12

December 7, 2021
string bass player and orchestra
UW’s Department of Music will resume the tradition of presenting its annual gala holiday concerts Saturday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. (UW Photos)

After missing a year in 2020, the University of Wyoming Department of Music will resume the tradition of presenting its annual gala holiday concerts Saturday, Dec. 11, and Sunday, Dec. 12, in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.

“Rejoice Again” will be performed at 3 p.m. Saturday, so as to not conflict with the UW men’s basketball game later that evening, and at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Masks are strongly encouraged. The performers will all be masked, and the first three rows will be kept empty to create space between the singers and the audience.

Tickets are $12 for the public; $8 for senior citizens; $6 for students not attending UW; and free to UW students with a “W” number. UW students will still need to reserve tickets. To purchase tickets, visit the Performing Arts box office, call (307) 766-6666 or go online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts. The concert also will livestream at https://youtu.be/8U4Swmbla6g.

The performances will feature the choral ensembles Collegiate Chorale, Bel Canto, Civic Chorus, Singing Statesmen and Happy Jacks, as well as the UW Symphony Orchestra (UWSO) and the Wind Symphony. UW Department of Music faculty members Robert Belser, Holly Dalrymple, Michael Griffith and Brian Murray will conduct. The new dean of UW’s College of Arts and Sciences, Camellia Okpodu, will narrate.

The UW Wind Symphony will feature a fanfare written by Belser titled “Rejoice!” in celebration of the return of live music. The symphony also will perform a Mannheim Steamroller arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” and close with a holiday Dixieland piece, “When St. Nick Comes Marchin’ In.”

The choirs will perform works by Maurice Duruflé, Morten Lauridsen, Felix Mendelssohn and Antonio Vivaldi, with traditional Latin texts. Compositions are “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”; “O Magnum Mysterium”; and “Tota Pulchra Es.” Bel Canto will celebrate Hanukkah with a contemporary Hebrew piece, “Light the Legend.” Familiar choral tunes include “Brightest and Best”; “Wexford Carol”; and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

The UWSO’s portion will begin with “The Eighth Candle, a Prayer and Dance for Hanukkah” by Steve Reisteter. The combined choirs and orchestra will perform “We Need a Little Christmas” from the Broadway musical “Mame” and end with a traditional medley of holiday carols.

Before the concerts and at intermission, a jazz combo and a bluegrass trio will perform. Organist Punch Williamson will perform his traditional holiday suite for the departing audience.

For more information, email Griffith at symph@uwyo.edu.

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