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FSU Musical Ensembles Join Forces to Present Festive Holiday Concert

A collection of ensembles and musical groups from the Frostburg State University Department of Music will join forces to present their annual Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall of FSU’s Woodward D. Pealer Performing Arts Center.

A prelude performance by FSU’s Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Brent Weber, will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Pealer Center lobby, and a dessert reception with cash bar will immediately follow the concert, also in the lobby, with entertainment by the FSU Jazz Combo, conducted by Tom Harrison.

The concert will feature performances by the FSU Wind Ensemble and Bobcat Marching Band, conducted by Shannon Shaker; the FSU Chamber Singers and University Chorale, conducted by Dr. Scott Rieker and accompanied by pianist Dr. Joseph Yungen; chamber ensembles; and student and faculty soloists.

The program will include “Carol of the Bells” performed by the Flute Choir, conducted by Dr. Eftihia Arkoudis; “Scarborough Fair” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by the String Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Karen Lau; “Oratoio de Noël” by FSU music majors Andrea Gormley, soprano, and Ivan Godoy, baritone; “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Gormley; “She Used to Be Mine” by music major Hannah Polk, soprano; “The Chanukah Song” and “Sanctus” and “Angus Dei” from “Messe Minuit de Noël” by the University Chorale; “Serenity” (“O Magnum Mysterium”) and “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind” by the Chamber Singers; “Holiday Celebration Tunes” by the Bobcat Marching Band; and “Sweet Sounds of Snowfall” and “What Child Is That Playing Carol of the Bells” by the Wind Ensemble. The concert will conclude with “A Christmas Festival” a sing-a-long featuring the combined bands and choirs.

In addition to the familiar Christmas tunes, the ensembles will present a variety of other holiday-themed selections.

“Scarborough Fair” is a traditional English ballad in which a man instructs a third party to tell his former love, who lives in Scarborough, to perform for him a series of impossible tasks, adding that if she were to complete these tasks, he would take her back into his affections.

The “Oratorio de Noël, Op. 12,” written by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1858, also known as his “Christmas Oratorio,” is a cantata-like work scored for soloists, chorus, organ, strings and harp.

“She Used to Be Mine” is a song by American singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles for “Waitress,” a musical stage adaptation of the 2007 film of the same name. Bareilles recorded it for her fifth studio album, “What’s Inside: Songs From Waitress” in 2015.

“The Chanukah Song” is a novelty song written by comedian Adam Sandler that he performed on “Saturday Night Live” in 1994. All variations center on the theme of Jewish children feeling alienated during the Christmas season, and Sandler’s listing of Jewish celebrities (both real and fictional) as a way of sympathizing with their situation.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s Christmas mass, the “Messe de Minuit,” is thoroughly in the French tradition, celebrating the joyful news of the birth of Christ with cheerful happiness.

“O Magnum Mysterium” is a responsorial chant from the Matins of Christmas.

The poem “Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind” is a song sung by Amiens, in the Shakespeare play “As You Like It,” who comments on how human insolence and lack of appreciation is more bitter than the winter wind.

“Sweet Sounds of Snowfall” by Cait Nishimura is a winter-inspired piece containing melodic material from two traditional songs: “I Saw Three Ships” and “In dulci jubilo.”

“What Child Is That Playing Carol of the Bells” is a combination of “What Child is This?” and “Carol of the Bells.”

“A Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson is a 1950 Christmas medley that includes “Joy to the World,” “Deck the Halls,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Good King Wenceslas,” Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells” and “Adeste Fideles.”

Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, members of the military and FSU faculty and staff; $3 for students; and free for children 12 and younger. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at, and will be available at the door, cash or credit card.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at 301-687-4109.

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  • Theresa Skidmore

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