Celebrating the themes of the season

The University of Wyoming Collegiate Chorale’s candlelight concert is set for next week at St. Matthew’s Cathedral. The event celebrates the themes of the season.

A candlelight choir concert celebrating the themes of the holiday season is set for next week.

Collegiate Chorale by Candlelight is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, 104 S. Fourth St. Tickets are $10.50 for the public, $7.50 for senior citizens and University of Wyoming faculty and staff and $6.50 for UW students.

During the past nine years, the holiday concert, performed by the University of Wyoming Collegiate Chorale, has become a popular event. Organizers are expecting to sell out the venue, so advance ticket purchases are recommended. Seating is by general admission, and doors open at 7 p.m.

“We will have some tickets available at the door if there are some left to sell,” choir director Nicole Lamartine said.

Lamartine said the concert doesn’t focus on specific religious events or holidays. Instead, it explores the ideas evoked by the season as a whole.

“It’s very open in terms of how we think about these larger themes of peace and well-being and being good to each other as human beings, and making changes in our lives to reflect that,” she said.

She attributed the concert’s popularity to its focus on ideas that all people can celebrate.

“We’re able to create an experience,” she said. “Not a concert, but a real experience.”

The theme of this year’s concert is “The Opening,” which Lamartine described as a journey through feelings such brokenness, opening one’s heart, opening a gate to heaven, opening the soul and reflecting on changes that begin with love.

Lamartine has pulled in a variety of music, from a rarely performed minimalist piece with organ by composer Arvo Part called “An dem Wassern zu Babel,” to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” to traditional Christmas carols.

Graduating seniors will be featured in the medieval carol “In Dulci Jubilo,” while student conductor Hannah Egbert will lead “Stars I Shall Find.” Choir members will also contribute their own poetry.

The concert begins with a processional by candlelight, with candlelight illuminating the church throughout the program. The evening concludes with a candlelight singing of “Silent Night.”

The Collegiate Chorale is the top mixed ensemble at UW, with many members receiving vocal scholarships and planning professional careers in the music industry.

“This choir is the most intensive in terms of pre-professional training,” Lamartine said. “We try to do a really wide variety of music to prepare them for their future music careers, whatever they might be.”

Lisa Rickard will accompany the concert on piano, with guitarist Jeff Selden also contributing. Lamartine said Rickard’s accompaniment links the pieces together into a seamless production.

“She’s really an integral part of this program,” she said.

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