LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Music has announced the return of two beloved annual Vespers programs for the 2022 holiday season.
KU Vespers, now in its 98th year, features performances at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4. The event is free and open to the public, and it will feature performances and seasonal sounds from vocal and instrumental ensembles. Jazz Vespers, another free event, returns this year as well at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8. All performances take place at the Lied Center of Kansas. Though there is no admission fee, tickets must be picked up at the Lied Center box office.
This year’s Vespers program will feature instrumental numbers, works that combine choir with orchestra and a cappella songs. The repertoire includes classics like “Ding, Dong Merrily on High!” in an arrangement by Ryan Murphy and “Gloria” (first movement) by John Rutter.
Musicians will also perform “Thixo Onothando,” a South African song of praise arranged by Michael Barrett; “Estrellita de Belén,” a folk-inspired new song by Ariel Quintana; “Kujichagulia” (self-determination, one of the principles of Kwanzaa), composed by Zanaida Robles; “El Yivneh Hagalil,” a traditional Hebrew folk song arranged by Peter Sozio; and the spiritual “Music Down in My Soul,” arranged by Moses Hogan. The program will also include the festive “Walz Les Patineurs,” written by Émile Waldteufel; Slavonic Dance 8 by Antonín Dvořák; and a piece from the opera “La traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi.
Also planned are special appearances by the KU Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Steve Leisring, and by the KU Trombone Ensemble, directed by Michael Davidson.
About Jazz Vespers:
The 2022 KU Jazz Vespers will feature performances of holiday favorites in a jazz and pop setting. This year’s edition of Jazz Vespers will feature 2022 DownBeat Award winners KU Jazz Ensemble I and a newly reassembled version of the KU Jazz Singers, along with featured guest artists Kerry Marsh and Julia Dollison, vocalists/arrangers.
Marsh is a graduate of KU (Bachelor of Music Education, 2000) who is one of the leading arrangers and publishers of vocal jazz music in the world today. He has worked with singer/songwriter Ben Folds for many years as an arranger and director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras. Dollison, a classically trained soprano and experienced studio and jazz singer, released her critically acclaimed debut CD “Observatory” in 2005 and can be heard on the soundtracks for “Vera Drake,” “The Corpse Bride” and numerous commercials for Disney, Fox, Coca-Cola and others. In 2010, she and her Marsh released “Vertical Voices: The Music of Maria Schneider,” which was named as one of DownBeat’s Best Albums of 2010. Both Dollison and Marsh previously taught at the University of Northern Colorado and Sacramento State University, where their vocal ensembles and soloists won 19 DownBeat Student Music Awards.
For more information, visit lied.ku.edu or call 785-864-2787.