New Haven Symphony Orchestra brings holiday music to Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts December 15


"Jingle 'n' Jazz," the New Haven Symphony Orchestra's (NHSO) Holiday Spectacular, brings holiday merriment to Fairfield University with a celebration of holiday favorites and a few surprises. The Quick Center for the Arts, with support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, presents this popular tradition on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Gerald Steichen, associate conductor of the NHSO, leads the Holiday Pops Concert and is joined by the buoyant vocal trio, The Janes, featuring Sula Haska, Christine Ranck and Patti Wyss. Rebecca Rosenbaum conducts The Elm City Girls' Choir, a highly acclaimed girls' choral ensemble and the premiere ensemble of the United Choir School in New Haven.

The evening's program is a varied one and begins with "A Christmas Festival," followed by Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols." The Choir sings Niccola Porpora's "Lauda Jerusalem" and The Janes render the traditional, "Up on the Housetop" with the distinctive harmonies that have made them so well known. There are familiar, as well as ancient carols: No evening of holiday music would be complete without "Silent Night" and striking a tone from long ago, is a haunting rendition of the 17th century carol, "While By My Sheep." The lively sounds of Christmas jazz switch the mood, giving the orchestra an opportunity to swing, while The Janes chime in with blended "sisters"-styles harmonies in "Girl Groups 'n' Jazz," sung in the same vein as the Boswells, Andrews and McGuires.

Maestro Steichen is a versatile musician whose career has taken him from the Boston Pops to the Tokyo City Symphony. As associate conductor of the NHSO, he conducts classics concerts, the Pops series, Young People's Concerts, and the NHSO's Summer Parks Concert Series. He has appeared at Lincoln Center with the New York City Opera, had an onstage role with the Tony Award-winning Broadway show "Master Class" and a two-year role as conductor with the musical "Cats," including the final public performance of the show.

The Elm City Girls' Choir gained national recognition through appearances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney World and on CBS Television. In addition, it has appeared with the Boston Philharmonic, the Moscow State Orchestra, the Yale Glee Club and Trinity Boys Choir, among others.

The Janes' Andrews Sisters-style vocals have been recorded hundreds of times for TV commercials, movie soundtracks and CDs crossing several genres, including Edward Thomas' modern opera, Grammy-nominated "Desire Under the Elms."

Tickets are $40, $35 and are available online at www.quickcenter.com or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, please visit the website at www.quickcenter.com.

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

Posted on November 29, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 127