For the first time since prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, singers and musicians from the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University will perform the schools’ annual Christmas concert on the SJU campus at the Great Hall.
“Christmas with Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2 p.m. Dec. 2 in the intimate setting of the Great Hall after several years of performance at the nearby Abbey and University Church. Tickets will go on sale Monday, Oct. 16, and are expected to sell quickly given that it is a much smaller venue (capacity 305) than the Abbey Church.
The smaller audiences at Saint John’s will be balanced by a return to the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, at 8 p.m. Dec. 2, also for the first time since the pandemic. Tickets for the performance at the Basilica (capacity 1,285) are currently on sale.
Participating ensembles in all three concerts include the CSB and SJU Chamber Choir, SJU Men’s Chorus, CSB Women’s Choir, The St. John’s Boys’ Choir, CSB and SJU Brass Ensemble, and the Amadeus Chamber Symphony. Highlights include more than 120 student performers, five conductors, and more than 30 community members in the Amadeus Chamber Symphony.
Annual vocal favorites in this year’s concert will include Egil Hovland’s “The Glory of the Father” and Lara Hoggard’s “Personent Hodie.” (Choir alumni are invited to join in the singing of these two pieces at the Basilica performance. Music and information will be provided at the door.)
Choral and instrumental ensembles will perform solo and combined repertoire. Choral-orchestral selections include Harold Darke’s beloved “In the Bleak Midwinter” and Cecelia McDowall’s “Christus Natus Est.”
Traditional audience carols also will be woven into the program.
“We are all filled with excitement for this cherished concert’s return to the Basilica of Saint Mary,” said Bradley Miller, CSB and SJU choral conductor and artistic director for the concert. “It is an incredible opportunity for us to share rich and meaningful Advent and Christmas music in this magnificent space.”
Tickets can be purchased through the Fine Arts box office, in person at the Benedicta Arts Center or by phone at 320-363-5777 (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Friday, 10-6 Tuesday and Wednesday and noon-6 Thursday), or online. For the two performances at the Great Hall, tickets cost $18 (regular), $16 (senior/60-over), $10 (CSB and SJU faculty/staff/student/youth) and free to Order of Saint Benedict members. There also is a $2 fee per ticket at both the Great Hall and Basilica concerts. Tickets for the performance at the Basilica cost $30 (regular) and $25 (senior and youth/student).