Scranton Celebrates 50th Annual Noel Night Concert

The 50th annual Noel Night concert featured a 50-voice mixed choir performing works chosen by University of Scranton alumni as past Noel Night favorites, including works by Britten, Handel, Rorem, Sirett, Tavener and others.
December 6, 2017

Marking a milestone half-century of song, The University of Scranton Singers presented the 50th annual Noel Night on Saturday, Dec. 2, to a capacity crowd in the university’s Houlihan-McLean Center. Joining the performance were trumpeter Mark Gould, pianist Ron Stabinsky, harpist Marg Davis, and an additional choir made up of nearly 60 alumni.

Bands of students on street corners playing familiar carols welcomed audience members as they entered the building, and those inside the beautifully decorated concert hall were entertained by an hour-long instrumental prelude presented by the University’s String Orchestra and Flute Ensemble. 

The main feature of the evening was an inspiring performance by the Singers as The University of Scranton’s annual Christmas gift to the community. The 50-voice mixed choir performed works chosen by alumni as past Noel Night favorites, including works by Britten, Handel, Rorem, Sirett, Tavener and others. Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., interim president, welcomed the audience with a Christmas message and during the course of the performance, the Nativity Martyrology, Prologue to the Gospel of St. John, and St. Luke Nativity Narrative were read by Joseph H. Dreisbach, Ph.D., Harold W. Baillie, Ph.D. and Leonard G. Gougeon, respectively, Ph.D. The seasonal readings have beeb a time-honored concert tradition, just as the event itself is for the many members of the community who are in attendance every year.

“The annual concert, having reached its golden anniversary, now spans several generations and those who once came as children are now bringing their own children,” said Cheryl Boga, director of Performance Music at the University.

Following remarks by Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president-elect, the program concluded with a spirited and inspiring finale in which the University Singers and chamber orchestra were joined by dozens of alumni from choirs throughout the decades to perform Vaclav Nelhybel’s “Estampie Natalis.” 

“The evening was a true celebration of community and tradition, featuring performers and even composers who are part of the fabric of the life of the University,” said Boga, "Composer Vaclav Nelhybel, for example, was the composer-in-residence at the University for the last 10 years of his life."




The University of Scranton Singers, joined by trumpeter Mark Gould, pianist Ron Stabinsky, harpist Marg Davis, and an additional choir made up of alumni, presented the 50th annual Noel Night to a capacity crowd in the University’s Houlihan-McLean Center.


Up Next

On Sunday, Dec. 10, Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present The Empty Stocking Fund Benefit Concert, which features the Scranton Brass Orchestra, with special guests the Scranton Preparatory School Cavalyrics. Admission to the performance, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Houlihan-McLean Center, is one new toy or piece of children’s clothing, or a cash donation.

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