The Herald Bulletin

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December 1, 2013

'Candles & Carols' concert is AU's gift to community

ANDERSON — The “Candles and Carols” Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Reardon Auditorium is Anderson University’s gift to the community.

“It is a pleasure for us to give this gift to the Anderson community,” said Dr. Jeffrey E. Wright, dean of the AU College of the Arts.

More than 250 AU students from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance will participate, including the Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Susan Taylor; the Chamber Orchestra, directed by Gert Kumi; the Chorale and Men’s Choir, directed by Dr. Richard Sowers; the Women’s Chorus, directed by Dr. Joani Brandon; and the Dance Ensemble, choreographed by Shauna Steele.

“It’s presented in a traditional format that people would recognize. And it’s all of the ensembles,” said Steele, AU assistant professor of dance. “So it’s very much a representation of the caliber of the instrumentation and movement that the School of Music, Theatre and Dance has.”

The concert will consist of holiday, Christmas or faith selections. “So in some way it’s connected to these holidays we celebrate between November and January,” Steele said.

She explained that an African-based song was an example of the more contemporary fare, while “The Dance of the Mirlitons” from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” might be better known.

The concert also allows students and faculty a chance to perform together.

“It’s not just a gift to the community, it’s also a gift to the students,” Steele said. “They have the opportunity to participate in many of the ensembles, in different styles and formats and to actually perform with their faculty, which is a unique thing that you don’t get to do at a lot of universities, to actually perform as peers with your faculty instructors.”

“Feelings of togetherness, the excitement of singing traditional Christmas hymns with thousands of friends, and hearing the familiar strains of ‘Silent Night’ echoing through the auditorium in the glow of the candlelight encourage audience members to return to Candles and Carols each year,” states an AU release.

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