THURSDAY, DECEMBER 04
A holiday ensemble of more than 200 Oklahoma City University singers and orchestral musicians will celebrate the 30th annual Christmas Vespers concert Dec. 12 and 13.
"The program is designed to lift people to new heights and allow a sense of wonder and joy to enter their lives,” said Dr. Randi Von Ellefson, OCU’s director of choral activities. “Everyone will hear familiar carols, join in singing as a large ensemble along with the four choirs, full orchestra and the magnificent chapel organ. Just as there are bound to be bombastic moments of pure sound, there are moments of sheer beauty and quiet.”
Concert highlights include excerpts from Handel’s Messiah, a Muscogee chant, and favorite sing-a-long carols. The program culminates in a darkened chapel with a candlelight recessional during "Night of Silence.”
Tickets are $10, or $5 for students, available at the door or at (405) 208-5227.
Dr. Timothy Olsen, university organist, will begin both evenings with an organ prelude at 7:30 p.m. Olsen and student organists Julie Huang and Tara Partington will perform music from masters J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, and Marcel Dupré and from 20th century composers Leo Sowerby, John Blackburn, Lionel Rogg, and Wilber Held.
The main program begins at 8 p.m. in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel. The concert will feature the OCU Symphony Orchestra and four OCU vocal ensembles: the 40-member University Singers, Ad Astra, the 77-voice women’s choir; the 36-member University Men’s Chorus; and the 50 singers of Chamber Choir.
Narrators for 2008 are Grant Moak, president of Canterbury Choral Society, and the Rev. Maggie Ball, OCU’s vice president for university church relations.
Professor Judith Willoughby, associate director of choral activities and the Wanda L. Bass Choral Chair, will co-direct the program with Ellefson.
"Christmas Vespers at Oklahoma City University has become the concert of choice to usher in the advent season on campus and in the metropolitan community," she said. "It is the university's holiday gift to Oklahoma City."