11/19/2004

Contact: Becca Ramspott, School of Fine Arts, (785) 864-5567

KU Vespers, celebrating its 80th year, brings out the holiday spirit

LAWRENCE -- In the rush to get ready for the holidays, it’s all too easy to forget the spirit of season. That’s when festive music can really help people put things into perspective.

“ Lawrence often looks to the University of Kansas Holiday Vespers concert, an event that draws thousands of residents, to inspire them to get into the holiday spirit,” said John Paul Johnson, KU’s director of choral activities and a key organizer of the concert. “It’s a chance to sing and celebrate the season with one another, as a school and as a community.”

KU’s Holiday Vespers, which is celebrating its 80th year, will be at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Lied Center of Kansas. Tickets are $12.50 for adults and $10 for students and seniors at the Lied Center Ticket Office (785) 864-2787; the Murphy Hall Box Office, (785) 864-3982; and the SUA Box Office in the Kansas Union, (785) 864-SHOW. For more information, call the Department of Music and Dance, (785) 864-3436.

“ The audience will be invited to participate during several selections, and, weather permitting, we hope to have carol singing outside the Lied Center immediately following the performances,” Johnson said.

The festive program includes both orchestral and vocal arrangements of traditional English, Welsh and Swedish carols; seasonal pop songs; and light classics. The KU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir lead the program; other performers include the Chamber Choir and the a cappella group Genuine Imitation. The First United Methodist Church Celebration Ringers will be special guests.

Program highlights include:
-- Sing-alongs of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Let It Snow!”
-- The men of the KU Symphonic Choir performing “Ave Maria.”
-- The Symphonic Choir and Symphony Orchestra uniting for “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with Jeffrey McEvoy as soloist
-- The First United Methodist Church Celebration Ringers performing “Deck the Halls” and “The Nutcracker” by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
-- The Symphonic Choir’s performance of “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel's "Messiah" to conclude the concert.

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