Holiday carols from around the world, timeless classics and familiar favorites with a new twist are on the program at 8 p.m. Dec. 7-8 when Butler University presents “Rejoice!,” its annual musical gift to the community, at Clowes Memorial Hall.
The Rejoice! concert is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. They are available at the Clowes Hall box office, 317-940-6444 or cloweshall.org. There is a limit of four tickets per person, but groups can call 317-940-9065.
The 27th annual Rejoice! will feature the Butler Chorale and Butler University Choir with musical accompaniment from the Butler Percussion Ensemble, Arthur Jordan Saxophone Quartet, Festival Brass from the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and guest organist Tom Nichols, the music director at Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
Among the highlights of this year’s program will be Bach’s “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied” (Sing to the Lord a New Song), which, while technically not a holiday piece, is “sufficiently festive,” said Eric Stark, director of the Butler Chorale and artistic director of Rejoice!
The 12-minute Bach piece is difficult — it’s a cappella, with independent parts written for each voice, and sung at a rapid tempo.
“There’s no place to hide,” Stark said. “Everybody’s got to pull their weight. But the students have been really challenged and stimulated by it. It’s been gratifying to see them take to it so well.”
Selections from this year’s concert also will include holiday carols from Latvia, Kenya and Spain, and favorites such as “A Rose in the Middle of Winter,” by Bob Chilcott, a longtime member of the King’s Singers, and “In dulci jubilo” (In Sweet Joy) by Matthew Culloton, the founding artistic director and conductor of The Singers and former member of The Dale Warland Singers.