Choir Christmas Extravaganza: The Colors of Christmas

The Sacred Heart University choir performing at one of their shows Lessons & Carols on December 4, 2016. Photo by Mark F. Conrad.
The Sacred Heart University choir performing at one of their shows Lessons & Carols on December 4, 2016. Photo by Mark F. Conrad.

By Amanda Nardiello

Staff Reporter

On Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts, Sacred Heart University’s Choral Program will perform their annual Christmas show, “Choir Christmas Extravaganza: The Colors of Christmas.”

With about 230 students involved, the Choral Program is composed of seven ensembles: Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Pioneer Choir, 4 Heart Harmony, Blended Hearts, SHU L.O.V.E. and The SHUpermen.

Director of Choral Programs Dr. John Michniewicz has been the choral director for 12 years. He hopes this upcoming performance will kick off the holiday season on a high note.

“The concert will begin the holiday Christmas season into a cheerful, joyful and spiritual way where people can come together and celebrate the season,” said Michniewicz.

The Choral Program will be performing traditional and contemporary Christmas classics, such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “That’s Christmas to Me,” to
promote joy and spread cheer during the holiday season. Each group will sing two to three songs each.

The SHUpermen, the men’s ensemble, Blended Hearts,  and the women’s acappella ensemble, are coming together on stage to perform Pentatonix’s version of “Little Drummer Boy.”

Pioneer Choir and Concert Choir will come together to sing “This Christmastide” by Donald Fraser and “O Holy Night” by Linda Chapman and Bonnie Heidenreich.

Ever since Michniewicz has been in the university there has been a Christmas concert.

“We’ve been doing a Christmas concert every year since I’ve been here, and I think my predecessors have been doing it for many years before that,” said Michniewicz. “It’s a long standing tradition of trying to celebrate the holiday season.”

Students in the Choral Program share their excitement about the upcoming Christmas concert.

“All the choirs have been working extremely hard on this music, some of it being fairly challenging to master,” said senior Jane Kenney. “Everyone is very excited to perform for their families, friends and faculty. It’s probably one of my favorite performances of the year.”

By being president of both Blended Hearts and 4 Heart Harmony, along with being a member of three ensembles, Kenney said how Sacred Heart’s Choral Program feels like her second home.

“Choir has allowed me an abundance of confidence and it has quite literally helped me discover my voice,” said Kenney. “It is my home away from home and there’s no other program I would rather devote my time to.”

Sophomore Laura Blanco, a member of Blended Hearts, also feels great to be a part of choir.

“I did choir ever since I was little. I love to sing and perform,” said Blanco. “Choir keeps me involved and I meet new people every day in this program.”

Michniewicz is eager for the Christmas show and looks forward to a special performance of “Silent Night.”

“We are inviting alumni to come back and sing ‘Silent Night.’ The audience can join in as well. We’re going to have the choir members hold candles that will be lit during the song,” said Michniewicz.

With the Choral Program’s upcoming performance, Kenney said that they have been putting in more work that will help benefit the program.

“We’ve been stepping it up and making some changes that can hopefully help our program and its growth,” said Kenney. “It will be something that I don’t think most people will expect and that will make it fun and new for the audience.”

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