The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: For Dec. 1-7, holiday music looms large again, student groups perform at UW and Edgewood College, and UW horn professor Douglas Hill begins his goodbyes.

December 1, 2010
Leave a Comment

A reminder: On THURSDAY AT NOON on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Midday,” Metropolitan Opera diva Angela Brown will be the guest. She’s an internationally known soprano appearing with the Madison Symphony Orchestra this weekend. For more information, visit and, or read the Q&A with her posted here on Monday.

By Jacob Stockinger

Music is always an integral part of the holidays, and some of it has already taken place. But much more of it happens this week, especially as the University of Wisconsin rushes toward the end of the semester.

The Christmas Lights concerts by the Oakwood Chamber Players and the Holiday Pops Concerts in Middleton by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (which will also offer Handel’s “Messiah” later in the month) are chief among them.

But no doubt the single biggest event in Madison comes this weekend, when the Madison Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Chorus will be joined by Metropolitan Opera soprano Angela Brown (below) – whose Q&A was posted here on Monday — for the annual Christmas Spectacular.

The concert, under the baton of unabashed Christmas fan John DeMain (below top), will include other local performers, specifically the Mt. Zion Gospel Choir (below middle) and Madison Youth Choirs (below bottom).

Caroling in the lobby before the concert will also take place.

Classical composers such as J.S. Bach, Handel and Vaughan Williams will be featured, as will popular Christmas songs and carols and even an audience sing-along.

Here is a link to find out more: Program Notes

Here is a link to the MSO:

And another link to Brown’s home site:

Performances are in Overture Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday at 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15-$75. Call the Overture Center box office at (608) 258-4141.


From 12:5 to 2 p.m. the free Noon Musicale by the First Unitarian Society offers the Isthmus Woodwind Quintet in music of Isaac, Passereau, Cavazzoni, Grainger and more. At 900 University Bay Drive in the Landmark Auditorium (below).

At 7 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Edgewood College gives its 83rd Annual Christmas Concert. The concert features the Edgewood College Chamber Singers (below), the Women’s Choir, the Concert Band and the Guitar Ensemble, along with audience carol singing.

There is always a full house and seats go quickly, as the Christmas Concert is very popular, says the press release. So make your reservations soon.

Tickets are $5 and all proceeds go to scholarship funds for Edgewood College Students.  Reservations are accepted at, or by phone at (608) 663-2845.

At 8 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Wind Ensemble, conducted by Scott Teeple (below) and graduate assistant conductors Erik Jester and Matthew Schlomer, performs  “Spiel,” Op. 39 by Ernst Toch; “Soleriana” by Carlos Surinach; “Hammersmith:  Prelude and Scherzo” by Gustav Holst; and the Wisconsin premiere of “Four Factories” by Carter Pann. Admission is free and open to the public.


At noon in Music Hall, the UW World Percussion Ensemble, directed by Todd Hammes, Neil Sisauyhoat and Tom Ross, will perform. Admission is free and open to the public.

At 1 p.m. in the Chazen Museum of Art, the UW Horn Choir performs. Professor Douglas Hill’s final UW horn choir concert looks back over 37 years of favorite compositions and arrangements by colleagues, students, works selected by ensemble members and an original composition by Hill (below), “Gratitude,” which expresses his personal feelings regarding his many years of joy working with the student ensemble Other works are by UW composer John Stevens, Thompson, Beibl, Barrows, Evans, Humperdinck and Meyer. The concert is free and open to the public.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the All University String Orchestra performs, conducted by Janet Jensen.  Admission is free.


From 12:30 to 2 p.m. “Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen” features the UW Pro Arte Quartet in Brittingham Gallery III at the Chazen Museum of Art. The program will be broadcast live over Wisconsin Public Radio (88.7 FM in the Madison area).

The performance will feature String Quartet in A Major, Op. 18 No. 5 by Beethoven; Glazunov’s Two Novelettes from the Five Novelettes for String Quartet; and the String Quartet in E-Flat Major, K. 428, by Mozart.

The quartet (below) is made up of University of Wisconsin Madison faculty Parry Karp on cello, David Perry on violin, Suzanne Beia on viola and Sally Chisholm on violin. Pro Arte Quartet received an international reputation during their first tour in 1919.  In 1938 they accepted a residency at the University of Wisconsin Madison and have presided here since. Next season marks their centennial.

Members of the Chazen Museum of Art or Wisconsin Public Radio can call ahead and reserve seats. Seating is limited. All reservations must be made Monday through Friday before the concert and claimed by 12:20 p.m. on the day of the performance. For more information or to learn how to become a museum member, contact the Chazen Museum at (608) 263-2246.

A reception follows the performance, with refreshments generously donated by Fresh Madison Market, Coffee Bytes and Fair Trade Coffee House. A free docent-led tour in the Chazen galleries begins every Sunday at 2 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m. in the St. Joseph Chapel,, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Edgewood College (below top) presents the famous and popular “Gloria” by Vivaldi (below bottom).

The Edgewood College Campus-Community Choir and Edgewood Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Albert Pinsonneault.

Tickets are $5 and all proceeds go to scholarship funds for Edgewood College Students.

At 2 and 4 p.m. (programs are identical, in Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Avenue, the UW Winter Choral Concerts, will feature five of the School of Music’s seven choirs: Concert Choir, Madrigal Singers, Chorale, Women’s Chorus and University Chorus.

Conductors are Beverly Taylor (below top), Bruce Gladstone (below bottom, in a photo by Katrin Talbot), Michael Pfitzer, Sarah Riskind and Brian Gurley.  Free-will offering will be taken.

From 3 to 6 p.m. the UW Memorial Carillon (below), on Observatory Drive between Ingraham Hall and the Social Science Building, will feature a holiday recital by University Carillonneur Lyle Anderson. The three-hour duration allows those attending other holiday programs to pause en route to listen to the 56-bell carillon, either by climbing the tower or choosing a spot on nearby grounds.  Admission is free.

At 4 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW University Bands, directed by Justin Stolarik, Erik Jester and Matthew Schlomer, will perform. Admission is free.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Masters Singers, conducted by Sarah Riskind, Russell Adrian and Brian Gurley, will perform. Admission is free.


At 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the UW Western Percussion Ensemble, directed by Todd Hammes, Neil Sisauyhoat and Tom Ross, will perform.  Admission is free.

Posted in Classical music

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,265 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,363,596 hits
%d bloggers like this: