Chorale by Candlelight

The University of Wyoming Collegiate Chorale, seen here during a previous concert, is set to perform its annual Chorale by Candlelight concert next week. The popular event explores themes of the season.

Now in its 10th year, the popular Chorale by Candlelight concert is set to kick off the winter season next week.

The concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, 104 S. Fourth St. Tickets are $10 for the public, $7 for seniors and $6 for students. Doors open at 7 p.m. and seating is by general admission.

Nicole Lamartine, the University of Wyoming director of choral activities, said the event is expected to sell out, and she urged people to purchase tickets early.

Tickets are available at the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts box office, the Wyoming Union information desk, online at www.uwyo.edu/finearts or by calling 766-6666.

“The first couple years we did this, we had one night and it was standing-room only,” she said. “We went to two nights, and it’s a consistent sell-out.”

Lamartine said the concert isn’t a Christmas concert, nor is it a holiday concert, per se. Instead, she called it a seasonal concert.

“Many of the things we explore during the season are themes of community, peace on earth, kindness, helpfulness toward one another — that’s very much what this program is about,” she said.

This year’s program is called “The Returning.”

“The themes that we’re exploring are returning to what is good, the goodness in all of us that is already in existence, and how do we open our eyes to that goodness that already exists,” Lamartine said.

Selections include a set of three pieces by Minnesota composer Kyle Pederson, including a premier of “If You Want to Hold My Hand.” The choir will also perform a musical interpretation of the Margaret Brown poem “Goodnight Moon,” set to music by Eric Whitacre.

“Sanctus,” from Bach’s B Minor Mass, is one of the “monuments” of choral music, Lamartine said.

“It’s been a great challenge to learn, and it’s so beautiful, and we’ll sing that in a surround sound formation in the church,” she said.

The program is interspersed with readings of poems and compositions contributed by choir members. As is its tradition, the choir will close the concert with a candlelight singing of “Silent Night” while surrounding the audience.

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

“I’m teaching them how to be professional musicians in all that they do, through their music learning, through their concert performances, and through their communication of music,” Lamartine said.

The choir will be accompanied by on piano by Ginny Gingrich and on guitar by Jeff Selden.

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