The Eastern Symphony Orchestra and EIU Choral Ensembles will present two classic holiday pieces -- "The Nutcracker Suite" and "Gloria" -- at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7.
The Holiday Concert, which will also feature soprano Janet McCumber, will be held in the Dvorak Concert Hall, Doudna Fine Arts Center.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" No. 1, Op. 71, was an instant hit when it was first performed in March 1892. The piece, which includes the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy," was Tchaikovsky’s last ballet and one of his final works.
Francis Poulenc's "Gloria," written in 1959, was also one of his final works. Some critics said it bordered on the sacrilegious, and Poulenc -- described by Claude Rostand as “something of the monk and something of the rascal" -- seemed pleased with the reaction. Poulenc said that in writing "Gloria," he thought of Gozzoli's frescoes "where the angels stick out their tongues" and also of some serious Benedictine monks he one day saw playing soccer.
McCumber is in her 13th year as the director of the Concert Choir and three extracurricular ensembles at Villa Grove High School. She also teaches music theory and music appreciation, as well as running a private voice studio in her home. McCumber, who is active in the Illinois Music Educators Association District V and the Illinois chapter of the American Choral Directors’ Association, has adjudicated at festivals and contests in the area, and has conducted choral festivals in northwestern and northeastern Illinois.
McCumber holds a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of Illinois and is currently working on a master's degree in orchestral and choral conducting at EIU, where she sings in the Concert Choir and Camerata Singers.
Tickets are $12 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens and EIU employees, and $5 for students. Reservations are strongly recommended. For reservations, contact Doudna Patron Services at email@example.com or 217-581-3110, or visit the Doudna Box Office 2-6 p.m. weekdays (closed Nov. 24-28).
The Doudna Fine Arts Center, a division of EIU's College of Arts and Humanities, is located one block west of Ninth Street at Garfield Avenue in Charleston.
For more information, visit the website at http://www.eiu.edu/doudna.