A perfect respite from holiday madness: the Lincoln College Holiday Concert

By Curt Fox

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[December 02, 2013]  Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year's  the holiday season upon us with all of the family activities and travel associated with it. From the shopping craziness of Black Friday to the ringing in of the new year, the list of things to do can be overwhelming. One event that comes every year and provides a relaxing evening of great music as a counterpoint to the holiday rush is the annual Lincoln College Holiday Concert. This year the concert will be on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnston Center for Performing Arts on the college campus.

With the spectacular success of the Nov. 15 jazz concert to a standing-room crowd, the December concert promises to continue the exceptional quality of music for which Lincoln College is known.

This time, Cynthia Fox, professor of vocal and choral studies, will bring the Lincoln College Chorale and the Chamber Singers to the main stage in the Johnston Center.

In past performances, she has selected a varied repertoire for her choirs to perform. This year will continue that tradition. She has chosen several African pieces as well as American spirituals, classic jazz from Cole Porter and contemporary Christian pieces.

"I hope the community will come out for the concert and fills the Johnston Center," she said. The rendition of "Mary, Did You Know" alone is worth attending.

At previous performances of her choirs, it was evident that the choir members were having as much fun with the performance as the audience. Professor Fox says her conducting and music selection makes "the performance all about the students." The enthusiasm and energy emanating from the stage is apparent.

The exceptional quality of the LC choirs can be found in the person conducting the performance from the piano on stage. Fox has said that she prefers to conduct from the piano as she accompanies the choirs, a technique that harkens back to the time of Mozart in the 18th century.

"Leonard Bernstein used this same technique while conducting the New York Philharmonic during performances where he was the principal pianist. He was a genius," she said.

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Ms. Fox has performed internationally as a guest pianist with orchestras and has also performed as a vocalist in operas in Europe.

The two choirs will be joined on stage by Professor Scott Woger's jazz saxophone quartet. Also, members of Woger's brass line from the Lincoln College Jazz Ensemble will perform in the lobby of the Johnston Center.

Tickets for the Saturday concert are $2 for adults and $1 for Lincoln College students and can be purchased at the Johnston Center box office the day of the performance.

In addition to a wonderful evening of music, the concert will act as a benefit for the Toys for Tots annual drive. The Lincoln College Choir will partner with the campus chapter of Phi Theta Kappa honor society to collect unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Each person donating an unwrapped toy at the concert will receive a chance to win a $25 Visa gift card. The drawing for the gift cards will be at the conclusion of the concert.

Professor Cynthia Fox may be contacted for more information at 217-732-3155, ext. 284, or cfox@lincolncollege.edu.

[By CURT FOX]

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