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January 1, 2013

Festival of Carols includes performance of John Rutter's Gloria

Holiday favorites are performed by Central Wyoming College musicians at the annual Festival of Carols scheduled for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 15 in the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre.

The highlight of the free concert is the performance of the cantata Gloria by the CWC Collegiate Chorale, under the direction of Robert Hussa, and several guest brass, percussion and keyboard players.

Hussa said the 17-minute, three movement score was composed in 1974 by John Rutter, an English composer whose music is performed worldwide. Rutter has earned his place as one of the great choral music composers of the last century, Hussa said.

CWC musicians performed the Gloria with the Rawlins Community Choir 20 years ago, and Hussa felt it was appropriate to perform it while the college celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Arts Center.

The music is demanding on the brass players and the soprano singers. “It is a fairly difficult piece, he said. “The sopranos are in the stratosphere a lot of the time in this work.”

The concert, which serves as a charity event to support the Fremont County Good Samaritan Center and the Lander Care and Share Food Bank, also features the CWC Handbell Choir, conducted by Sharon Dalton.

"We have been presenting this concert for nearly 15 years," he said. "While there is no admission charge, we take up a collection at the performance which is distributed equally between these worthy community organizations. Every dollar collected goes to them. We hope people will be extremely generous to help those in need."