Hundred-voice combined choir to sing holiday concert at ARCC

Concert choirs from Anoka-Ramsey Community College’s Coon Rapids and Cambridge campuses will join voices for the first time to perform a holiday concert.

Students in an Anoka-Ramsey Community College choir rehearse for a free Dec. 11 joint holiday choral concert with ARCC’s Cambridge Campus chorale. Photo submitted

Students in an Anoka-Ramsey Community College choir rehearse for a free Dec. 11 joint holiday choral concert with ARCC’s Cambridge Campus chorale. Photo submitted

It’s not often one gets to attend a free concert of this quality, said choral director Randal Buikema, who is taking over the duties of ARCC faculty member Melissa Bergstrom, while she’s on sabbatical leave.

“It’s wonderful literature,” Buikema said about the concert featuring J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms and Randol Bass on the program lineup.

ARCC’s chamber singers, under the direction of Nicki Toliver, open the ARCC concert to be performed Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Coon Rapids.

The combined campus choirs, 100 singers strong, follow. Buikema directs the choirs accompanied by a professional orchestra.

The 75-minute concert selections include two movements from Bach’s Christmas cantata “Weihnachts Oratorium,” Brahms’ “Shicksalslied” and Bass’ “A Symphony of Carols.”

The pieces range from exuberant to heavenly to despair and a return to heavenly, followed by a fun-filled selection of Christmas songs, according to Buikema.

“It’s a bit of a roller coaster ride, but it’s definitely worth it,” Buikema said.

The concert ends with an audience sing-along.

The concert will be repeated at the Cambridge-Isanti High School in Cambridge. The public is invited.

The Anoka-Ramsey Community College Music Department presents free holiday choral masterworks concerts Tuesday, Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m., Coon Rapids Campus Performing Arts Center, 11200 Mississippi Blvd., and Friday, Dec. 14, 7:30 p.m., at Cambridge-Isanti High School, 430 N.W. Eighth Ave., Cambridge. For more information about the music department’s public events, visit www.AnokaRamsey.edu.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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