November 19, 2009

Holiday concert set for Dec. 3 at Shryock

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Concert Choir and Choral Union, with the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, present a concert for the holiday season.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Shryock Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students. Tickets are available in advance at the ticket offices at the SIU Arena or the Student Center, or at the Shryock Auditorium box office. Tickets are also available beginning one hour before the concert.

The concert features the Gloria, composed by Francis Poulenc (1899-1963), and a collection of traditional Christmas songs from Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958).

“I love the Poulenc (selection) -- it’s exciting and energizing,” Susan Davenport, director of choral activities and assistant professor of music, said. “And the Vaughan Williams selections present a nice contrast of familiar tunes.”

Poulenc, a French composer, created music in all the major genres, including art songs, chamber music and opera as well as orchestral music. His association, in his early years, with the group Les Six contributed to his use of the Dada movement influences in his music. His later music, though, reflected a Roman Catholic influence.

He wrote the Gloria in 1959, and it premiered in Boston in 1961. The work includes a soprano solo with a large orchestra and chorus. It is in six movements. Two sopranos will solo during the performance -- graduate student Cordelia Anderson (Birmingham, Ala.) and Renée Rybolt (St. Joseph, Ind.).

Vaughan Williams was a composer, and a collector of English folk music. The second half of the concert highlights some of the now-famous songs Vaughan Williams collected, including “Deck the Hall,” “Here We Come A-Wassailing,” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” His own “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” featuring graduate student Brandon Odom (Mobile, Ala.), presents themes familiar to many listeners.