Fairfield University celebrates "Christmas in July" with the 14th annual Summer Festival Chorus concert July 28


Christmas arrives early at Fairfield University, courtesy of Carole Ann Maxwell, D.S.M, director of choral and liturgical music and her talented ensemble of 65 local singers. On Saturday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, the Summer Festival Chorus (SFC), will present the 14th annual concert, "Christmas in July: A Merry Half-Christmas." The evening promises to be one of new and unique choral settings of holiday favorites, traditional Christmas music and carols. Adding to the Christmas theme, the SFC will contribute - and also requests audience contributions - to Santa's Summer Toy Box. All donated unwrapped toys appropriate for ages 4-11, will be distributed to area children who may be disadvantaged.

The chorus members hail from many of the area towns such as Bridgeport, Fairfield, Milford, Norwalk, Stratford, Greenwich and Stamford. All are experienced singers, many of whom sing regularly in local choirs, and all welcome this summer opportunity to work with the dynamic Dr. Maxwell. Special guests include Joe Utterback, a popular jazz performer and composer and accompanist Beth Palmer. Michael A. Ciavaglia is assistant conductor.

The diverse program, spanning five centuries, is as engaging for its distinctive choices as it is for the musical textures achieved by those choices. The evening showcases the best of American, British and continental European composers.

Among them, are modern composers and arrangers of sacred and secular music such as John Rutter, Randol Alan Bass and Mark Riese. Their work combines with work from the canon of the great Romantic choral music of Anton Bruckner as well as American folk music, embodied in a traditional carol of elegant simplicity that was collected and arranged by folk musicologist John Jacob Niles. In addition, the audience is invited to join in "A Merry Little Sing-a-long" of familiar Christmas music.

The concert is at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and children. For more information, contact the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010 or call the toll free number, 1-877-ARTS-396. Tickets are also available online at www.quickcenter.com.

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

Posted on July 13, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 9