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ASU Herberger College Choral Program Creates New Holiday Tradition

November 08, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. –  Four choirs within the ASU Herberger College of Fine Arts join together to perform an exciting holiday concert. The holiday extravaganza features settings of familiar carols from around the world sung by:

  • The ASU Men’s Chorus conducted by Brook Larson
  • The ASU Women’s Chorus directed by graduate student Michele Paynter Paise
  • The ASU Symphonic Chorale under the leadership of Gregory Gentry
  • The ASU Chamber Singers led by David Schildkret, chair of the ASU Choral Program 

This is first time all of the student ensembles perform during the holiday season. The event takes place 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4, at the First United Methodist Church, 15 First Avenue in Mesa.

A program highlight is Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest, a delightful setting of familiar carols sung in Spanish and Catalán. The Chamber Singers perform the work with harp, marimba, vibraphone and guitar accompaniment.  The concert concludes with a gala joint performance of the “Hallelujah” Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

“For many years, the ASU Choral Union and Symphony Orchestra have presented a beloved holiday concert,” says David Schildkret, chair of the Choral program. “Since I came to ASU in 2002, we’ve been seeking a way for our smaller groups to present the favorite music of the holiday season.” 

The holiday concerts began in 2003 with only the Concert Choir, which performed in Organ Hall on the ASU Tempe campus. So many people attended the concert that the second performance had to be moved to a larger venue. In 2004, the choirs moved to First United Methodist in Mesa, allowing more singers to participate. 

Tickets for the concert are $5 and available through the Herberger College Box Office, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and noon to 4 p.m., Saturdays, 480-965-6447.

The School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report. More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each year. To learn more about the School of Music, visit

Media Contact:
David Schildkret
ASU Choral Program Chair
(480) 965-3706