Omaha Symphonic Chorus Presents “Christmas at the Cathedral”

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December 4th, 2013

Omaha, NE — A Christmas tradition in the Omaha area continues into its 18th year.

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This coming weekend features an Omaha holiday favorite – the annual “Christmas at the Cathedral” concert presented by the Omaha Symphonic Chorus. Dr. Greg Zielke, the Chorus’ Artistic Director and Conductor, says this year the concert was built around music suggested by chorus members.

Omaha Symphonic Chorus“They all submitted their favorite pieces from the past 12 years,” said Zielke, “and there were clearly a few of those that rose to the top, and that became the centerpiece of our concert. The most requested piece was ‘O Nata Lux’ which is the center movement from Morten Lauridsen’s ‘Lux Aterna’.”

Also well-represented are arrangements by English composer and conductor, John Rutter.

“One is a setting of ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, a very sparkly, fast piece of music, and then the very sweet and delicate ‘Candlelight Carol.’ Of course we’re also doing our traditional closer, which is a John Rutter setting of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas.’”

Speaking of English composers, Dr. Zielke chose to honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten with his “Hymn to the Virgin”.

“And this one is really going to be beautiful for that space because it is a capella for chorus and semi-chorus and the semi-chorus will be in the organ loft so we will have this truly antiphonal singing.”

Joining the Chorus on this concert are members of the Omaha Symphony. Dr. Zielke says it is a real treat to work with such outstanding musicians.

“They’re so musical, so responsive, they play so beautifully…”

Dr. Zielke says the Symphony musicians are not the only guest performers.

“This year we have a new element, The Moving Company from UNO is directed by Lauren Bartels, they’re dancing to a piece called ‘Serenity’, this is by Ola Gjeilo. Serenity is a setting of the O Magnum Mysterium text, which is a Christmas text. The music of Ola Gjeilo tends to be atmospheric.”

The Omaha Symphonic Chorus’ 18th annual “Christmas at the Cathedral” concerts are Friday, December 6 at 8 pm and Sunday, December 8 at 2 pm. Both performances are at Omaha’s St. Cecilia Cathedral. Tickets are available at the north entrance or online at omahasymphonicchorus.org.

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