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Hendricks Chapel to Ring in the Season With ‘Horns and Harmonies’ Dec. 17
“Horns and Harmonies” returns to Syracuse University’s Hendricks Chapel on Sunday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. with a festive program of songs, carols and instrumental classics.
Free and open to the public, the concert features the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE) and the Spirit of Syracuse (SOS) Chorus, led by artistic director James T. Spencer and co-directors Sky Harris ’06, G’08 and Alicia Caron, respectively.
Both groups are joined by emcee Bruce Paulsen, an on-air host for WCNY Classic-FM and the “Voice of SUBE”; Harmonic Collective, an award-winning men’s a cappella chorus (founded by Harris); and pianist Jon Bergman.
Audience members are invited to donate food and personal care items to the Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry. For more information, contact Hendricks Chapel at email@example.com or 315.443.2901.
In addition to free, convenient on-street parking, complimentary parking is available in the Irving Avenue Garage and the Quad Lot on North Campus.
“Music is a gift of the holiday season,” says Brian Konkol, dean of Hendricks Chapel and a professor of practice of religion. “The Syracuse University Brass Ensemble and the Spirit of Syracuse Chorus help connect campus and community, truly bringing some much-needed joy to our world.”
Now in its fourth year, “Horns and Harmonies” features individual and joint performances by SUBE and the SOS Chorus. The evening culminates in a group performance of Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival” and a candlelight singalong of “Silent Night.”
SUBE will present chestnuts like “The 12 Days of Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells” along with film music from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “A Muppet Christmas Carol.” In turn, Associate Director Craig Elwood ’89 will conduct his arrangement of “Joyful, Joyful,” popularized by the Christian rock group GLAD.
“I love the brilliance and beauty of brass music,” says Spencer, a chemistry professor who has conducted, written for and performed with SUBE for more than 35 years. “Combine it with four-part a cappella harmonies in a historic space like Hendricks Chapel and you have a musical gift for the whole family.”
Indeed, the 70-member SOS Chorus covers the creative continuum—from the traditional (“Do You Hear What I Hear?”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride”) to the contemporary (“Warm and Fuzzy,” “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”).
The singers are particularly excited to perform “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas,” for which they’re sharing the stage with some 50 stuffed hippos. Afterward, the handmade toys will be donated to the Elmcrest Children’s Center. “They’re incredibly cute and filled with love,” says Caron, one of many members who lovingly sewed the animals together.
Harris, who also helped, is thrilled to return to her alma mater. “This concert is fast becoming a campus tradition,” says the Syracuse University Bands and Hendricks Chapel Choir alumna. “The sense of connection that occurs onstage and throughout the audience is mesmerizing.”
WCNY Classic-FM will broadcast “Horns and Harmonies” on Saturday, Dec. 23, from 8-10 p.m. WAER also plans to broadcast the concert. Date and time are TBA.
A nationally recognized brass band, SUBE is the University’s ensemble-in-residence. The group has enjoyed a rich relationship with the College of Arts and Sciences and Hendricks Chapel, spanning many concerts, commissions and a 12-year association with Holidays at Hendricks. Last June, the 35-piece ensemble returned to the international stage with a performance at the Gettysburg Brass Band Festival in Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1957, the SOS Chorus is one of the oldest U.S. chapters of Sweet Adelines International (SAI)—a global organization committed to advancing barbershop harmony through education, performance and competition. Next fall, the award-winning chorus travels to Kansas City, Missouri, for the 76th annual SAI International Competition and Convention.