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Choirs from MSU and Rowan County High School collaborate for Candlelight Carol Concert

The Morehead State University Choirs and Rowan County High School Concert Choir will come together for a Candlelight Carol Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2, in Baird Music Hall at MSU. The special guest for the concert is the MSU Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble.  

The title of the concert results from the emphasis on carols and the concluding carol sung by candlelight. The audience will participate in carol singing accompanied by William Murphy, MSU staff accompanist. These carols will be sung between the short sets of music each ensemble presents. Audience sing-alongs include “Deck the Halls,” “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” “Silver Bells” and “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.” The concert will conclude with the MSU Concert Choir and Chamber Singers surrounding the audience with candles to sing Malcolm Sargent’s arrangement of “Silent Night.”    

The concert opens with “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and Eric Barnum’s “Sweeter Still; A Holiday Carol” sung by the MSU Concert Choir. The MSU and Rowan County High School Concert Choirs will combine with brass and percussion to perform the first movement of John Rutter’s “Gloria.” The combined choirs will also celebrate Hector Berlioz’s 150th anniversary with the famous chorus “The Shepherds’ Farwell to the Holy Family” from his oratorio “The Childhood of Christ.”  

The low brass and men will perform “Three Carols from Spain” arranged by Eduardo Noguerroles. The carols are “Fum, Fum, Fum,” “La Viene la Vieja” and “Pastores Venid.” The Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble will begin this set of music with “Merry Christmas Darling” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and the men will conclude the set with the hilarious “12 Days of Christmas/Africa” made famous by the singing group Straight No Chaser.  

Dr. Greg Detweiler, professor of music director of choral studies, said, “I wanted to give Tania Sempertegui, my departing graduate assistant from Ecuador, a little gift before she left. I could not find the right music from Ecuador, so I settled on performing the ‘Three Carols from Spain’ for her. It has been fun to have her work with us on our Spanish. We hope our Spanish speaking friends will enjoy this part of the concert.”  

The MSU Black Gospel Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Roosevelt Escalante, will sing “Jesus is the Reason,” “Fear No More Medley” and “Joy to the World.” The Rowan County High School Concert Choir, under the direction of Josh Hamilton, will add three additional carols to the program: “Gloucestershire Wassail,” “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree” and “Carol of the Bells.”  

“The concert is designed to bring the town and gown of Rowan County together to enjoy singing,” Detweiler said. “We really want people to leave with a song in their hearts, believing it is ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.’”  

Tickets are $5 for adults and students may attend free of charge. Tickets will be sold at the door or reserved by calling Brooklyn Ison, administrative assistant for the MSU Concert Choir, at 859-200-4428.  

For more information on MSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, visit, email or call 606-783-2473. 

Photos: The Candlelight Carol Concert will feature the MSU Concert Choir (pictured above) and Chamber Singers (pictured right) surrounding the audience with candles to sing Malcolm Sargent’s arrangement of “Silent Night.”