Choir of the North

The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Choir of the North will present its Christmas concert under the direction of Dr. Jaunelle Celaire, professor of voice, at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Charles W. Davis Concert Hall

The concert will feature a program of Schubert’s “Mass in G” and John Rutter’s “Birthday Madrigals.” There also will be featured soloists from within the choir: Kirsten Hutchinson, Joseph Bishop and Elijah Graham.

The Choir of the North is composed of approximately 40 to 50 voices selected by audition from the University of Alaska Fairbanks student body. Organized in 1957, it is one of the longest standing choral organizations in Alaska. The primary mission of the Choir of the North is to provide a musical training ground for those students preparing to become professional musicians and music educators, many of whom will stay and teach in the Alaska public school systems. For students with other majors, the choir provides an outlet for their musical abilities while they pursue their major areas of study.

The Choir of the North performs a wide variety of choral music. Included in its repertoire have been such standard works as Bach’s cantatas and motets, Brahms’ “Zigeunerlieder,” Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols,” the requiems of Mozart, Durufle and Faure, Byrd’s “Mass for Five Voices,” and newer works such as Rutter’s “Gloria” and the unusual “The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore” by Menotti.

Russian choral music has long been a staple of the choir’s repertoire. Recently performed works include Rachmaninoff’s “All Night Vigil (Vespers)” and a scene from Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera “Christmas Eve.” Since its organization and in addition to regular concerts on the UAF campus, the choir has made several Alaskan and Pacific Northwest tours and has visited Europe. The Choir of the North performs periodically with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and the Arctic Chamber Orchestra. Performances by the Choir of the North have been selected for national broadcast on the KUAC “Intrada” series, and the choir’s recording Carols of Christmas has been released by Golden Crest Records.

Tickets are available in the UAF music department and at the door. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students, military, and senior citizens. Children under 12 are admitted free.

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