Contact: Mark McGowan, NIU Office of Public Affairs
November 26, 2008
DeKalb — More than 40 alumni of the Northern Illinois University Choral Program will return to campus the first weekend of December to perform in the annual holiday concert, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.
Eric Johnson, the director of choral activities in the NIU School of Music for the last decade, invited graduates from around the world. Responses came from as far away as Germany and New York City, where some are singing on Broadway, to Los Angeles and several points in between.
Those who are coming will spend Saturday, Dec. 6, in rehearsals and then perform as part of the Holiday Concert that begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, in the Music Building’s Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.
The choirs of NIU will be joined by several guest ensembles including the NIU Philharmonic and NIU Brass Ensemble as well as members of the DeKalb Festival Chorus and the Community School of the Arts children’s choir.
“My vision for this concert was to invite school and community ensembles that have performed with us over the years to both commemorate this anniversary and provide a great foundation for future performances. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 10th anniversary,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to believe I’ve been here that long.”
The concert opens with Bach’s “Magnificat,” performed by the Concert Choir, Philharmonic and student soloists, and ends with all of the choirs joining to perform Daniel Pinkham’s “Christmas Cantata,” which is “a large and festive work for choir, brass and organ.”
In between are smaller performances of familiar carols and well-known holiday texts in new settings.
Members of the alumni choir, including some who graduated in the 1980s, will perform “In Dulci Jublio” by Michael Praetorius and Robert Shaw’s arrangement of “I Saw Three Ships.”
“They’re very excited to come back,” Johnson said. “A majority of them are involved in music, mostly as music teachers. And I always have some singers who are non-majors, and they’re looking forward to coming back and singing.”
Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students and free for children 10 and younger. Reservations are strongly encouraged; call (815) 753-1551 to guarantee seats.
Visit www.niu.edu/music/index.shtml for more information.
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