The Newman University Chorale and Troubadours are preparing to celebrate Christmas with an annual concert, which will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 in the De Mattias Performance Hall.
The music department will deck the halls with this year’s concert titled, “A Jazzy, Classy Christmas,” which Director of Music Deanne Zogleman said is a combination of jazz, classical and modern hits.
Senior Elizabeth Urban said this concert has always held a special place in her heart.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Christmas music and being able to sing on stage with the rest of the choir is beautiful. Everyone’s just singing together and celebrating this holiday,” Urban said. “It’s like having another family with me. Caroling Christmases are always big in my family but this is like a whole different level.”
Senior Dyana Baca said this concert has brought her into the Christmas spirit over the four years she has been in Chorale.
“My favorite part is the familial feeling,” she said. “Even if we aren’t close, we still feel like a family for that time.”
For each Christmas concert, the music department invites “one or two select ensembles to perform a set of songs and then join us for our last number,” Zogleman said.
Every third year, at least, they invite the Bishop Carroll Catholic High School Madrigals.
Freshman Chorale member and Bishop Carroll alumna Talia Powers said, “I’m excited that I get to be with them again on the stage because they are all super talented.”
Zogleman said the Madrigals will join the Chorale and Troubadours for additional songs this year.
“This year, our special guests will join us not only for the last song but also for four songs from John Leavitt’s new work, ‘A Midnight Clear,’” she said. “This work will be performed at Carnegie Hall next year, so we are getting a jump start since we will be traveling to New York City next Thanksgiving.”
Senior Dakota Heard said this concert takes on many important meanings to him.
“The amount of support that we get from the community is nice. Everybody loves Christmas and many people start their Christmas season with it — and it is a huge honor to do that for people,” Heard said. “There is something special about Christmas music where all of the troubles of the world fade away and you can be together. It is a way to recenter your life around family, friends and community.”
Zogleman said “A Jazzy, Classy Christmas” will end in a familiar way.
“We have a tradition that I started my first year here — our final song is a gorgeous choral arrangement of “O Holy Night” that I have done every year since I taught high school way back when,” she said.
Along with the guest choir, music department alumni are encouraged to come up and sing this final number with the current Chorale and Troubadour members.
“I can’t explain to non-Chorale members what this song means for us,” Zogleman said. “But suffice it to say, it is not only my favorite Christmas song, but a special song for the Chorale family every time we perform it.”
Heard said this song has held great meaning for him over his four years in the music department.
“’O Holy Night’ is always my favorite because it is a classic and it’s just perfect because you have alumni and the guest choir that come up and sing with us,” Heard said. “It’s just the best way to start off the Christmas season.”
Immediately following the concert, audience members can head to Gorges Atrium to participate in Christmas carols.
“I started the tradition that after each Christmas concert, we would go into the atrium and line the top with our special guests and sing four or five Christmas carols,” Zogleman said. “It is one of the most acoustically, beautiful places to sing. The audience gets to sing along.”
Heard said he looks forward to singing in the atrium every year.
“Singing in the atrium is gorgeous. It is ‘acoustic heaven,’ like Deanne likes to say, and it’s really nice to be able to include the Newman community in our Chorale family,” Heard said. “Everybody knows carols and being able to sing that along with your community is something that you really can’t describe but is really nice.”
Zogleman said the goal of the concert is to spread some Christmas cheer by “singing loud for all to hear.”
“We would love to bring the spirit of Christmas through music — come join us and take a break for a little over an hour,” she said. “You’re guaranteed to leave full of Christmas joy.”
The box office will open at 2:15 p.m. the day of the concert. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, $5 for faculty, staff and member of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Newman students are free with student ID.