CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 16, 2001
University of Iowa Old Gold Singers present 'Cocoa and Carols' Dec. 1-2
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Familiar holiday songs, Santa Claus and hot chocolate
will all be part of the event when the University of Iowa Gold Singers present
their annual holiday spectacle, "Cocoa and Carols," at 8 p.m. Saturday,
Dec. 1, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.
An ensemble of the UI School of Music, the Old Gold Singers will be led
by UI graduate assistants Rachel Lebeck and Marc Falk. The group consists
of 25 singers, plus a stage band.
This year, "Cocoa and Carols" will also feature two community
groups: the Iowa City Girls' Chorus, directed by Vicki Arnold and Ann Berry;
and the Newman Singers, directed by Joe Mattingly.
Traditionally one of the most popular holiday events for area audiences,
"Cocoa and Carols" features holiday favorites, including well-known
Christmas carols, and a perennial favorite, a "Rudolph the Red-Nosed
Reindeer" sing-along. As is traditional for "Cocoa and Carols,"
Santa will be a guest star and hot cocoa will be served to guests in the lobby
after the performances.
The Old Gold Singers will present their program in three sets, with the
guest groups sandwiched between. The Old Gold Singers program will be:
-- The first set, comprising "We Need A Little Christmas" "Old
Fashioned Christmas Medley," "Rockin' Christmas Medley" and
"Home for the Holidays Medley";
-- the second set, with the "Rudolph" sing-along, a group of songs
based on African and African-American traditions and "All I Want for
Christmas is You," featuring members of the group in solos and duets;
-- the finale, with "O Holy Night," another audience sing-a-long
and Leroy Anderson's holiday classic, "Sleigh Ride."
The Old Gold Singers are a select musical group whose members are chosen
by audition. In addition to "Cocoa and Carols," their campus performances
include the annual "Fall Festival" and "Swing Into Spring"
concerts. The group also travels throughout Iowa, performing for schools and
community groups. Past tours outside the state have taken them to New York,
Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas.
The Newman Singers, a liturgical & concert group from the Newman Catholic
Student Center in Iowa City, Iowa, have toured the country for the past 15
years, performing contemporary liturgical music. Their 10 recorded collections
of liturgical music, written by their founder and director, Joe Mattingly,
are used in parishes, schools and institutions throughout the country.
According to Father Virgil Funk, president of the National Association of
Pastoral Musicians, "The Newman Singers are a musical group who reflect
the very best in American spirituality for young adults. Mattingly is one
of the most successful musicians working with young adults in the United States."
Marc Falk is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in choral conducting in
the UI School of Music. He received a bachelor's degree from Macalester College
in St. Paul, Minn., and a master's degree from the University of Minnesota,
where he served as assistant conductor of the Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus
and Chamber Singers. Falk has toured nationally and internationally with the
a cappella quartet Fourshadow, and worked as a music director, composer and
performer with Nautilus Music Theater in St. Paul. He has also conducted church
choirs in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Boston, and he recently served as vocal
director for the University Theatres production of "O Pioneers!"
Rachel Lebeck is in the second year of a graduate program of the UI School
of Music, majoring in vocal performance. She has been an oratorio soloist
at the UI as well as around the state, and she was Gianetta in the past summer's
production of "The Elixir of Love" by the UI Martha-Ellen Tye Opera
Theater. Lebeck has a private voice studio in Cedar Rapids.
"Cocoa and Carols" tickets are $11 general admission ($7 for UI
students, seniors and youth), and are available from the Hancher Auditorium
Hancher box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11
a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial (319) 335-1160. Long
distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. People with special
needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158,
which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that
Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through
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may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff
may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may
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The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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