School of Music

USM Chamber Singers to Present Annual Holiday Concert

November 21, 2013

Contact: Erin Bartoletti, (207) 780-5256 or

USM Chamber Singers to Present Annual Holiday Concert

GORHAM, Maine – The University of Southern Maine (USM) School of Music will present the USM Chamber Singers next month in their annual holiday concert, “Joyous Sounds for a Festive Season,” at the Williston-Immanuel United Church in Portland. 

The concert, conducted by Robert Russell, USM professor of music and choral studies, will feature timeless classics, exuberant and uncommon holiday pieces, a USM School of Music student’s world premiere and the group’s signature yuletide song, “Bethelehemu,” which invites School of Music alumni to join in.

The details of the concert are:

  • “Joyous Sounds for a Festive Season,” 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, Williston-Immanuel United Church, 156 High St., Portland; $12 suggested donation at the door to benefit USM Chamber Singers European Tour Fund; open seating; sponsored by Norway Savings Bank

 “The concert has a wonderful variety, with intimate, inspiring and rousing sounds, and lovely a cappella tuning in a beautiful setting,” said Russell in a recent interview. 

The program includes Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Bogoroditse Devo,” modern composer James Whitbourn’s “Prayer of Desmond Tutu,” Tikey Zes’ “Soma Christu” and the world premiere of “Guiding Light,” composed by Matthew Laberge, sophomore music major.

The chamber singers also will perform Benjamin Britten’s “Rejoice in the Lamb,” with solos by soprano Virginia Hudak, senior music education major; alto Aileen Andrews, senior art major; tenor Simon Smith, junior music education major; and bass Matthew LaBerge, with David Maxwell providing organ accompaniment.

The concert will conclude with Franz Gruber’s treasured classic “Silent Night,” sung by mezzo-soprano Carolyn Glaude, senior musical theater major.

Over the past 15 years, the USM Chamber Singers has released five CDs in conjunction with five European tours, with the most recent tour to Spain in 2011. The a cappella group traditionally performs 20th-and 21st-century pieces, focusing on classical music, sometimes Renaissance pieces or spirituals and occasionally Broadway and film music.

“Joyous Sounds for a Festive Season” is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

There is a $12 suggested donation at the door, which will benefit the USM Chamber Singers European Tour Fund. There will be open seating.