CSS Holiday Concert “O Holy Night” Coming this Weekend

Allissah Jerome

On December 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. head down to St. Michael’s Church on Superior St. Why? Only for one of the most amazing choir concerts of the semester.

This weekend, the College of St. Scholastica’s Concert Choir, Bella Voce, Women’s Choir, and Men’s Choir will be performing songs that reflect on the Christmas season. While the final details of the concert are still being put into place, it definitely sounds like this is a concert one wouldn’t want to miss.

“It’s a combination of a lot of work over the semester,” said Dr. Bret Amundson. “This is a pretty intense concert. The choirs have been working very hard and are sounding very good.”

Amundson is the Director of Choral Activities and the Director of General Education at the College of St. Scholastica. He will be directing Bella Voce and co-directing the concert choir during the “O Holy Night” concert.

This concert offers individuals a unique opportunity to hear so many of the different choral ensembles in one sitting. However, coordinating four choirs, two directors, and several off-campus instrumentalists doesn’t just happen overnight.

“The most challenging part of this concert was having less time to learn all of our music,” said Danielle Brino, a fourth-year veteran of the Bella Voce and Concert Choir. “We had the privilege to be a part of the Inauguration of the new college president, but preparing pieces for those performances took time away from our Christmas pieces.”

Another key figure in this concert, Dr. Sara Cohen, is the Assistant Director of Choral Activities and vocal music education. “This is the first Christmas concert we are doing with men’s choir and they are bringing it. They sound great,” Cohen remarked. This is also the first concert that the choral ensembles perform without any other ensembles.

“The students have been so fun. They have worked their tails off. They have allowed both me and Dr. Sara Cohen to push them in different ways. They have grown so immensely this semester, and I’m proud of them,” said Amundson of the performing groups.

As the concert is entitled “O Holy Night,” audience members can expect to hear some Christmas music.

“We are singing all types of music. You’re going to hear sacred and secular music, holiday music, songs from advent, marian anthems. We’ve got some actual Christmas music about the birth of Jesus. It’s also a wide variety. We’ve got pieces from the renaissance, pieces through 20th century music, pieces that you’ve heard before, many that you’ve not heard before — several different countries, several different languages,” said Amundson.

According to Brino and Cohen, “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and “Snow Angel” are two pieces people should be looking forward to.

Since Christmas is said to be one of the most wonderful times of the year, why not make it more wonderful by attending the choral concert?

“It’s really one of the concerts to not miss…we are getting ready for finals, and it’s just an excellent way to celebrate the time of year and to take a step away from the daily grind and be refreshed for the last few weeks of the semester,” said Cohen.

“It is a good reminder of being grateful. It gives you some time to sit with thoughts and maybe even let those thoughts go away…to support your friends. I think that’s important. We have a very strong music program here, and it would be sad if people didn’t get to take advantage of it,” said Amundson.