Fairfield University Glee Club celebrates the holiday season with "Night of Wonder"


As the holiday season approaches, the Fairfield University Glee Club under the direction of conductor Carole Ann Maxwell, DSM, takes stage with the Festival Orchestra in "Night of Wonder," the wildly popular annual Christmas concert. The Glee Club will have two performances at the Quick Center for the Arts, Friday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m.

Dr. Maxwell sections the first half of the evening in thirds, opening with soloists who set the tone for the concert with "Prelude of Wonder," sung in her own arrangement. Guest artist Beth Palmer and guest conductor Michael Ciavaglia '04 join accompanist Galen Tate. An original arrangement by Mack Wilberg for "Carol to the King" unfurls the musical cloak of many colors making way for a series of treats: "A New Song" by Marvin Curtis, hymns sung in Latin - "Te Deum No. 3 in D major" by Carl Czemy and Zoltan Kodaly's "Ave Maria," followed by a narrator who joins tenor Alex Claydon as he sings "Mary Did You Know" and at last, voices of the Ladies of the Glee Club.

The rich tones of the Men's Ensemble under the direction of Peter McMahon and Jonathan Haskins and the baton of Ciavaglia, change the mood in the next phase of the evening as the full power of the Glee Club resonates with Mark Brymer's arrangement of a favorite carol, "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

The Chamber Singers return the audience to days of old with "Good King Wenceslas," add some spice with a Spanish rendition of "Riu, Riu, Chiu" and provide comfort with "White Christmas" and "Beautiful Night" by Dr. Joe Utterback.

Accompanied by Carolyn Cuteri, Sweet Harmony, under the direction of Catherine Hart and Jennifer Meuser, serenades the assembly with the bell-like clarity for which they are known.  The full Glee Club returns to round out the joyful evening.

In March 2008, the Glee Club will embark on a European concert tour to Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Several of the pieces performed in this evening's program are included in the tour repertoire and are presented here in preparation for the tour: "Te Deum," "Good King Wenceslas" and Kodaly's "Ave Maria."

Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for children and are available on the website at www.quickcenter.com or by calling the Quick Center Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396.  For further information, please visit www.quickcenter.com.

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

Posted on November 7, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 104