News - 11/17/10

Christmas Concert to celebrate joy of Advent season

Familiar carols and music of the Christmas season will ring through the Chapel of the Resurrection during the annual Valparaiso University Christmas Concert on Dec. 3 and 4, as student musicians delight audiences during this festive campus tradition.

Valpo's choral and instrumental ensembles will give voice to the joy, magic and mystery of the Advent season during this year's concert, "A Carol Festival," continuing a more than 80-year-old campus and Northwest Indiana holiday tradition.

"All the emotions present during the Christmas season – the celebration of Christ's birth, the joy of spending time with loved ones, the stillness of a peaceful winter night – are expressed during Valpo's Christmas Concert," said Christopher M. Cock, Duesenberg chair in Lutheran music and director of the Bach Institute at Valparaiso University. "Hearing these beloved carols and songs in the Chapel of the Resurrection, decorated for the Advent season, is an extremely moving experience for our audience and student performers alike."

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 and at 5 p.m. on Dec. 4. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and non-Valpo students, and free for Valpo students, faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased by calling 219-464-5162 or online at

Hundreds of people throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicago area, along with the campus community, alumni and parents, make Valpo's Christmas Concert an annual part of their holiday celebrations.

The 90-minute event will include audience participation in the singing of carols, as well as music by Valpo ensembles that will emanate from different parts of the chapel.

Dennis Friesen-Carper, Reddel professor of music and conductor of Valpo's Symphony Orchestra, said the concert will be an engaging musical experience for everyone in attendance.

"Our 'Carol Festival' invites the audience to join with Valpo's singers and instrumentalists in several cherished Christmas carols, as well as enjoy a dazzling array of the season's most engaging music," Friesen-Carper said.

The audience will join Valpo performers on several carols, including "Joy to the World," "Silent Night," "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "O Come All Ye Faithful."

The Chorale, Valpo's premiere choir conducted by Cock, will sing a beautiful setting of "Ave Maria" by Franz Biebl and Bob Chilcott's jaunty Christmas carol "Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day." The Women's Choir will sing Eleanor Daley's "Herself a Rose, Who Bore the Rose," about Mary and the new-born Jesus, and will join the Men's Choir for "Jesus, What a Wonderful Child," a gospel arrangement of "Go Tell it on the Mountain."

The Chamber Concert Band, conducted by Jeff Doebler, associate professor of music, will perform a lyrical setting of the "Italian Carol" and a Klezmer-like arrangement of the traditional French carol "Patapan."

Valpo's Symphony Orchestra will perform "Waltz of the Flowers from Tchaikovsky's Christmas ballet, "The Nutcracker," and Friesen-Carper's new setting of John Jacob Niles' haunting folk song-based carol "I Wonder as I Wander."

Valpo's premier vocal and instrumental ensembles – the Chorale, Men's and Women's Choirs, Chamber Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra – have toured across the United States and internationally, and are featured on numerous albums released by Valpo ArtsMedia (

More information about the ensembles and Valpo's Department of Music is available online at

'American Idol' winner performs on campus

The winner of "American Idol" Season 8, Kris Allen, performed songs from his self-titled debut album during a Nov. 6 concert at Valparaiso University's Harre Union.

See photos of Allen performing at Valpo on the University's Flickr page.

Hundreds of Valpo students and fans attended the concert and listened to Allen perform songs from his self-titled debut album, including his hit singles "Live Like We're Dying" and "The Truth."

Nick Colis, chair of the University Programming Council's concert committee, said Allen's performance added to the many events at Valpo that help create an active and fun campus.

"The concert went really well, Kris was a great guy and he was really excited to play for us," Colis said. "Everyone watches 'American Idol' and he's a big name, so this concert was just another example of the benefits of being a Valpo student."

Colis noted that Valpo brings a wide range of artists to perform on campus, including pop band Owl City and hip-hop artist Jason Derulo in the past year.

Allen is currently on tour promoting his debut album and "Live Like We're Dying" has sold more than 1.5 million copies to date. His second single, "The Truth," featuring Pat Monahan of Train, is climbing the Billboard charts.

Allen's path to victory on "American Idol" included memorable performances of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror," and Kanye West's "Heartless," and he was praised by judges for his original arrangements of the well-known songs. His finale song, "No Boundaries," reached No. 1 on the iTunes chart.