Cal Poly Choirs' 'A Christmas Celebration'
Cal Poly’s PolyPhonics, The University Singers, and Early Music Ensemble will ring in the holiday spirit in “A Christmas Celebration” at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.
Also joining the Cal Poly Choirs will be the Cal Poly Brass Ensemble and the popular a cappella group Take It SLO.
This year’s program will highlight works for choir with oboe, featuring Cal Poly oboe instructor Gabrielle Castriotta as the guest soloist. Castriotta earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in oboe performance and a master’s degree in music from USC.
She has held the English horn positions of the Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles and is a teaching artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition to doing studio recording, she has performed with the Pacific Symphony, the Jacaranda Music Festival, and the West Los Angeles Symphony.
The featured works with oboe and English horn will include “The Lamb” by Ralph Vaughan Williams; “Rise Up, Shepherds, and Follow” by Leo Nestor; “The Lord Is My Shepherd” by John Rutter; “Catalonian Carol” arranged by Dale Warland; “How Still He Rests” by Brent Pierce; and “A Christmas Carol,” composed for men’s voices and English horn by Cal Poly Music Professor Meredith Brammeier.
Works celebrating the Hanukah season will include “Chanukah Fantasia” by Coreen Duff and “Ma Navu,” a traditional Hebrew folkdance melody arranged by Shira Cion.
PolyPhonics and The University Singers will open the concert with Rosephanye Powell’s “Ogo Ni Fun Oluwa!” (“Glory to God in the Highest”) sung in Africa’s Yoruba dialect. Additional combined pieces include Anton Bruckner’s “Virga Jesse” (“The Rod of Jesse”) and Mack Wilberg’s arrangement of the Spanish carol, “Fum, Fum, Fum” featuring Cal Poly environmental and protection major Kelsey Beisecker on piccolo.
The Early Music Ensemble, Take It SLO, and Music Department staff accompanists Susan Azaret Davies on piano and Paul Woodring on organ will be featured in “Christmas Cameos.” The Cal Poly Brass Ensemble, conducted by Christopher J. Woodruff, will perform “Christmas Jazz Suite” by Bill Holcombe. The concert will close with the choirs’ traditional rendition of “Silent Night.” The choirs are conducted by Thomas Davies.
Tickets to the concert are $12 and $14 for the public and $9 and $12 for senior citizens and students. New pricing includes all Performing Arts Center fees, and event parking is now sponsored by the PAC. Tickets are sold at the Performing Arts Ticket office between noon and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849).
The Music Department offers a 10 percent discount to patrons who buy season tickets to four of its events through the Performing Arts Ticket Office; a 15 percent discount is given on tickets to five or more events.
The holiday concert is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts, and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406.