USAO’s Christmas Concert Promises Holiday Fun Nov. 16

Friday, November 10, 2006

CHICKASHA – In the spirit of the upcoming season, the University of Science and Arts Concert Choir is presenting its annual Christmas concert Nov. 16. The 7:30 p.m. performance in the USAO Alumni Chapel features holiday favorites, hymns and even a handbell choir, percussion and an instrumental ensemble.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music and director of the Concert Choir, said the concert offers a large variety of seasonal music.

“We have enjoyed preparing this beautiful music for the holiday season,” Hanson said. “With the variety of music, from seasonal carols to handbell hymn arrangements, there is something for everyone.”

The concert’s lineup includes moving arrangements of not only classic carols and hymns, but also foreign language pieces and a movie selection. “Canciones Hispanas,” a medley of Spanish carols arranged by Audrey Snyder, and a French arrangement of “Chanson de Noël,” are both selected for the program. The choir also will debut “Believe” from 2004’s animated hit “The Polar Express.”

Special musical ensembles provide additional accompaniment, including a handbell choir assembled from Concert Choir members. Spring USAO graduates Andrea Taylor and Michelle Skinner join the choir on violin and flute, respectively, for a medley of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “What Child is This?”

Tulsa music freshman Elizabeth Sellers said that even though Thanksgiving hasn’t yet passed, the concert promises to set the mood for the winter holiday.

“The show will get you ready for the Christmas season,” Sellers said. “Even though we’re having it in November, it will get you pumped, it will get you psyched, it will get you ready to go get your tree and get presents for your family. It’s something that can bring us all to the season.”

Composed of nearly 30 music and non-music majors, the Concert Choir has performed with local college and church choirs throughout the area. Last year, the choir performed the “Messiah” chorus with the First Baptist Church.

The following students comprise the Concert Choir:

Ardmore communication freshman Schuyler Austin; Tulsa drama senior DeeDee Beard; Chickasha music senior Jonathan Benecke; Fletcher English freshman Rhoda Burnsed; Mustang early childhood development freshman Shianne Bush; Blanchard freshman Susan Butler; Tuttle English freshman Melody Dobbins; Moore music senior Kristin Epperson; Chickasha sophomore Amber Frizzell.

Norman freshman Sarah Hackett; Anadarko music junior Susanna Hayworth; Edmond freshman Robin Jackson; Oklahoma City music senior Josh Jacques; Chickasha music freshman Gordon Lewis; Chickasha music senior Lauren Martin; Chickasha music sophomore Mechelle McDowell; Lawton chemistry freshman Felecia Moralez; Chickasha English senior Stacey Neely; Chickasha music freshman Jilene Osborn.

Dibble music senior Danyele Oxford; Georgetown, Texas, music freshman Scott Pitts; Bartlesville psychology freshman Mark Schlasner; Tulsa music freshman Elizabeth Sellers; Blackwell drama sophomore Chris Stanford; Chickasha music senior Gina Beth Taylor; Chickasha music junior Nathan Taylor; Chickasha music junior Cassie Walje; and Cement history senior Derek Wilson.

Adjunct music instructor Deborah Johnson serves as accompanist for the Concert Choir. She will join Anadarko music junior Susanna Hayworth on piano for a lively version of “Angels We Have Heard On High,” during which the two will share a single piano.

Award-winning composer Dr. Stephen Weber, associate professor of music, will make an appearance in the concert as the arranger of mid-19th century hymn “Hyfrodol,” originally written by Rowland Hugh Prichard. Weber’s arrangement spotlights the ensemble’s handbell choir.

The USAO Concert Choir will be performing for the first time in new choir robes made possible through a gift from the Mike Brooks Memorial Fund.

The choir performs Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the USAO Alumni Chapel, which is located southeast of the Nash Library on 17th Street. The concert is free and open to the public. Additional information is available from Dr. Jan Hanson at (405) 574-1298. A promotional video is available online at