December 04, 2007

Children's choir to present annual holiday concert

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois Children's Choir presents its annual holiday concert, "Child of Light," beginning at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Shryock Auditorium.

The children's choir is made up of four ensembles, all of which will perform at this concert with a total of about 55 children singing. The program includes traditional Christmas carols and holiday songs as well as selections from Handel, Holst, Beethoven, Purcell and others. A special feature is guest soloist SIUC School of Music graduate student Ricardo King performing with the choirs on "True Light," a song based on the popular children's song, "This Little Light of Mine."

Tickets are $5 for general admission, $3 for students. Tickets are available at the SIUC Student Center Ticket Office and, on the day of the concert, they are also available at the door. A reception follows the concert.

Alice Berry, artistic director for the SICC and director of the Choristers, the most advanced group within the choir, said this year's theme focuses on children of light because "that is what we are supposed to be – lights in this sometimes dark world."

"To hear children sing and sing beautifully is a blessing," she said.

The treble choir is open to children throughout Southern Illinois. This year's choir includes members from six Southern Illinois counties. The Choristers is an auditioned touring group for students in grades four through nine. Besides the Choristers, there is the Singer Choir, an auditioned choir for children in grades four through six, directed by Stan Willis; the Apprentice Choir, an auditioned beginning level choir for children in grades one through four; and the KinderChoir, an introductory choir open to all children from ages four through third grade. Stephanie Hanson directs the Apprentice and KinderChoir.

The Southern Illinois Children's Choir is organized under the SIUC School of Music's community and preparatory program. It is supported in part by SIUC School of Music, Carbondale Community Arts and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.