'Holidays at Hendricks' Heralds the Season Dec. 8

A candle-lit singing of carols is the traditional end of the Holidays at Hendricks program.

A candle-lit singing of "Silent Night" is the traditional end of the Holidays at Hendricks program.

“Holidays at Hendricks,” the annual Syracuse University holiday concert featuring the Hendricks Chapel Choir, the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE) and University Organist Kola Owolabi, will fill Hendricks Chapel with the sound of music on Sunday, Dec. 8.

This year’s concert is co-organized by Peppie Calvar and James T. Spencer, directors of the Hendricks Chapel Choir and SUBE, respectively. The program features an increased emphasis on student talent, as evidenced by guest performances by the Syracuse University Singers, directed by John Warren;  Windjammer, SU’s vocal jazz ensemble, led by Jeff Welcher; and handbell ringers from SU’s Setnor School of Music and Plymouth Congregational Church under the direction of Maddie Horrell, a graduate student in music education in the Setnor School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Education.

Although it features many SU faculty and alumni, SUBE also has a student component. “For years, we’ve made it a point for our student performers to sit alongside and be mentored by their faculty counterparts,” Spencer says.

Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE) from Syracuse University News on Vimeo.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public; those attending are asked to bring a nonperishable food item. Free parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the Quad 1 lot (accessible via Crouse Drive); the Quad 3 lot (accessible via Sims Drive, with entrance between Bowne Hall and Carnegie Library); the Waverly lot (accessible via Crouse Avenue); and in the Irving Garage.

Through a unique collaboration between SU and WCNY, the 90-minute concert will again be broadcast in late December by WCNY on television and radio.

Broadcast times for television will be Monday, Dec. 23, at 9 p.m. on 24.1; and Tuesday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve), at 1 p.m. on 24.1 and 10 p.m. on 24.4 (HD).

Broadcast times for radio will be Tuesday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve), at 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Dec. 25 (Christmas Day), at 8 a.m.

WCNY-TV is found on Channel 24 or Time Warner Channel 11, digital cable channels 850 and 853 and simulcast in SD 24.1 and HD 24.4. WCNY-FM (CLASSIC-FM) is found at 91.3 in Syracuse, 89.5 in Utica and 90.9 in Watertown.

During the concert, the groups will perform both individually and in combination. “Holidays at Hendricks” will include traditional favorites, such as “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells,” alongside holiday-oriented pieces from the classical repertoire, including the opening movement from J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and a setting of “Wide Awake” by St. Olaf Choir founder F. Melius Christiansen. In keeping with Hendricks Chapel’s inclusive interfaith vision, a variety of sacred and secular pieces will be offered.

The concert will close with the traditional candle lighting and singing of “Silent Night.”

The Hendricks Chapel Choir is a select, voice-mixed choir of about 40 students that provides music for the Sunday morning interdenominational Protestant service at SU, as well as for various campus events. The choir presents annual holiday and spring concerts, and tours internationally every four years.

The SU Brass Ensemble, part of SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, is composed of members of the SU faculty, staff and students, the SUNY Upstate Medical University faculty and staff, and accomplished musicians from surrounding communities. The national award-winning Brass Ensemble presents about 18 performances per year. The ensemble’s repertoire includes music from all major musical periods and often features new compositions commissioned by nationally known composers.

The University Singers is the most select choral ensemble at Syracuse University. With 36 members, the choir performs a variety of music, from the Renaissance era to contemporary compositions, and is featured as the University's premiere touring ensemble. For nearly 50 years, the Syracuse University Singers have upheld a rich tradition of excellence in choral singing characteristic of the most select vocal musicians of the Setnor School of Music at SU.

Windjammer is Syracuse University’s vocal jazz ensemble. The group performs several styles of jazz, including swing, bop, contemporary, Latin, and blues, with an emphasis on vocal improvisation. Auditions take place at the beginning of each semester. Comprised of no more than 16 voices, the group performs literature from the most current catalogs of vocal jazz writers and arrangers. An additional rhythm section performs with Windjammer.

DVDs of the 2012 Holidays at Hendricks performance are available in the SU Bookstore.

For more information on the concert, contact Hendricks Chapel at 443-2901.