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November 20, 2012

DWU Christmas concert expands to two dates, to premiere ‘Winter’s Night Carol’

MITCHELL — Sacred music and the birth of Christ will be celebrated this year during the annual Dakota Wesleyan Christmas concert, which has grown to such popularity that the university has expanded to two concert dates.

This year’s concert, “A Winter’s Night,” will be performed at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, at the Sherman Center, and will feature the Dakota Wesleyan Choir, Choral Union, Wesleyan University/Community Band, Highlanders and Mitchell Area Children’s Choir. LyricWood, DWU’s newly organized strings ensemble, will also perform, as well as the Wesleyan Bells.

Tickets are $10 each and may be purchased at Prather Hall, on campus, which is located just off of McCabe Street. This is the large quartzite building that formerly served as Music Hall. Tickets are limited and cannot be reserved by phone.

“‘A Winter’s Night’ will be the South Dakota premiere of ‘Winter’s Night Carol,’ by Chicago composer Paul Carey,” said Clint Desmond, DWU choral director. “There is a mix of sacred and secular music, but it leans on the side of sacred. Many of the pieces are about the night when Christ was born and the longing and mystery surrounding the event.”

Last year’s Christmas concert sold out, so this year Desmond decided to offer two opportunities to attend the concert.

“We received such an overwhelming response last year, which was an honor, so we made the decision almost immediately to try a two-day event this year,” Desmond said.

Multiple pieces will be performed by the groups, including: “O Holy Night,” “Unending Flame,” “Deck the Halls,” “Hail Mary,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and “Winter’s Night Carol,” which has only seen a few performances, so Mitchell will be one of the first audiences to experience it. The combined choirs, orchestra and audience will sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Joy to the World” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

LyricWood will perform six holiday pieces during two sets, while the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir will perform “A Winter Song,” “In Bethlehem Town” and “Al Shlosha.”

The Wesleyan Bells will ring in the holiday season with “Joy to the World” and “A Joyful Psalm.”

The choirs are directed by Desmond; the band is directed by Brad Berens, adjunct instructor of instrumental music at DWU; Erin Desmond, DWU accompanist and voice and piano instructor, directs the children’s choir; and symphony rehearsal conductor and LyricWood conductor is Liz Soladay who joined the DWU music staff this fall as keyboard instructor and director of the strings program.

 

 
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