Three University of Central Florida choruses will perform a free concert titled “Songs in Waiting” at St. James Cathedral in downtown Orlando at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. The performance combines a beautiful setting, an interesting program on texts of emotional depth, and inspired singing.
The concert features the University Chorus, the Women’s Chorus and the Chamber Singers, as well as many vocal and instrumental soloists. The choruses will be led by David Brunner and Kelly Miller, both faculty members in the UCF School of Performing Arts. The program celebrates the holiday season, and in particular, the Advent period.
“‘Songs in Waiting’ is the title of a little book about the canticles of Mary by Paul-Gordon Chandler, an American Episcopal priest and author who lives in Cairo and with whom I planned a concert around the musical canticles (Magnificat, Benedictus, Gloria, Nunc Dimitis) that I conducted with professional singers in Spokane, Washington a few years ago,” said Brunner. “I thought the phrase was appropriate for this program—music for Advent, a season of longing, expectation, intention and promise—but also other sacred and secular works that have a common theme of possibility, anticipation and hope.
“There is a huge variety of styles on the program, including a couple new works of mine. A unique and beautiful piece is STARS by a young Latvian composer Eriks Esenvalt, on a Sara Teasdale text, which is accompanied by tuned, water-filled crystal glasses. I think it will really be memorable in that acoustic space. This is paired with a surprising setting of the child’s tune ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.’”
While UCF does not have a performance facility on its campus that is large enough to accommodate all three choruses and patrons, Brunner is pleased that St. James has welcomed the groups to perform in the cathedral. “We’ve sung at St. James a number of times and love both the acoustic and atmosphere. It is flattering for singers and the sound is good throughout the space. It is also quite beautiful after its extensive renovation a few years back, and their music staff is supportive and appreciative of us.”
The University Chorus presents performances throughout the academic year of a wide variety of classical, contemporary and world music. The Women’s Chorus is an ensemble of women who perform a broad repertoire from all styles and languages, including treble music of world cultures, vocal jazz, and musical theater. The Chamber Singers is a select mixed voice ensemble of advanced singers, specializing in music for smaller ensemble in many styles. This is the premier choral ensemble for the university.
All three groups perform locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally for clinics, conferences, festivals, and special events. Notably last summer, the Chamber Singers were invited to sing with the Rolling Stones in the Orlando performance of the band’s Zip Code Tour.
St. James Catholic Cathedral is at 215 N. Orange Avenue, Orlando. The performance is free and no ticket is required. For more information, visit http://www.music.ucf.edu or call 407-823-1500 .