FAIRBANKS — Come Saturday, a chorus of voices will fill Davis Concert Hall at the University of Alaska Fairbanks as part of the University Chorus’ holiday concert.
With more than 50 people covering the vocal range from bass to soprano, the program consists of two pieces: “Magnificat,” arranged by John Rutter and conducted by Jaunelle Celaire, and “Feel the Spirit,” a collection of African-American spirituals arranged by John Rutter and conducted by guest conductor Marvilla Davis.
Celaire, an associate professor of voice at UAF who conducts the chorus, said she was more than excited about the performance because of the quality of the singers involved and especially for guest conductor Davis, who was the founder and director of the Alaska Chamber Chorale.
“Just being at rehearsal on Monday night and hearing the spirituals, it’s very moving,” Celaire said. “You never realize that until you’re in rehearsal and hear it. I hope the audience really feels that. I’m looking forward to that.”
Celaire is conducting the first piece, but after intermission, she’s turning the conducting duties over to Davis so Celaire can perform with the chorus as the soprano soloist, something Celaire is looking forward to. “I’m always conducting, so getting to perform is a refreshing break. It’s a very unique and joyous experience for me,” she said. “It’s nice to pass the reins to Marvilla Davis, allowing me to get to do what I love to do.”
The choral group is made up of university performers and Fairbanks residents, and also includes a special soprano soloist Celaire is glad to see return to UAF. Amy Hortsman, a former student of Celaire’s who has performed in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, is the soloist for “Magnificat.”
“It’s always nice to see a student return and perform,” Celaire said.
A sweet treat for attendees is a bake sale and silent gourmet dessert auction that starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall before the concert starts, during intermission and after the concert is over.
If you go
What: University Chorus Holiday Concert
When: 7 p.m. Saturday at Davis Concert Hall at the University of Alaska Fairbanks
Cost: Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for seniors, military and students; children under 12 admitted free.
Bonus: The concert also features a bake sale and a silent gourmet dessert auction that starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall before the concert starts, during intermission and after the concert is over.
Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or on Twitter at @FDNMfeatures.