The Fairfield University Glee Club presents its annual Christmas concert at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


The Fairfield University Glee Club celebrates the evolution of musical traditions at Christmas with its annual concert, "An American Christmas," at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. This seasonal tribute continues the Glee Club's 60th Anniversary festivities. The Festival Orchestra will join the Glee Club for this year's performances, which will take place on Friday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m.

Under the direction of Carole Ann Maxwell, D.S.M., the full Glee Club and its smaller ensembles perform an adventurous program of Christmas music spanning the 17th through the 20th centuries.

One of the program highlights, "Huron Carol," sung in the original Algonquin language, is the earliest Christmas carol composed in North America in 1641.

The Chamber Singers present William Billings' "A Virgin Unspotted," a characteristic example of the strong rhythms and clear simple harmonies favored in Revolutionary times.

Also on the program is "African Noel" arranged by Andre Thomas, "Jingle Bell Fantasy" composed by James Lord Pierpont in 1857 as a "sleighing song," selections from celebrated composer Gwyneth Walker's, "Rejoice!" - which is a new musical setting of traditional Christmas carols - and Isaac Watts' familiar hymn, "Joy to the World."

The Glee Club is a mixed chorus of over 100 undergraduate and graduate singers known on campus and abroad for 60 years of musical excellence. The choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Westminster Cathedral in London, and the Aula Paolo VI at the Vatican.

In celebration of its 60th Anniversary, the singers will premiere a commissioned work by renowned American composer, Gwyneth Walker in April 2007 and they will join the Greater Bridgeport Symphony in a concert performance of Puccini's "Tosca."

Dr. Maxwell, Director of Choral and Liturgical Music for Fairfield University since 1980, is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut and Chorus Master of The Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra. She has conducted choruses for the Prague Radio Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Connecticut Grand Opera and Orchestra and the Yale Opera Ensemble.

She has shared the stage with jazz legend Dave Brubeck and the Dave Brubeck Quartet, opera legends Sherrill Milnes, Marilyn Horne and Renee Fleming, composers Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim and Charles Strouse. For several years, Dr. Maxwell has been named one of the distinguished conductors at the celebrated "Messiah Sing-In" at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York City.

Tickets are $10, $6 for students. Call the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396 to purchase tickets. For more information, visit the website, www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 10, 2006

Vol. 39, No. 80