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arts music

Student vocal ensemble, NOTUS, to join Singing Hoosiers in annual ‘Chimes of Christmas’ concert

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The Singing Hoosiers will start the holiday season on a musical note with their traditional concert, “Chimes of Christmas.” This year, the concert will also feature the vocal talents of IU’s African American Choral Ensemble and the contemporary vocal talents of the student choral ensemble, NOTUS. 

“Chimes of Christmas” will be performed at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. Student tickets start at $11 and are available on the IU Auditorium website

NOTUS is directed by Dominick DiOrio, a professor of music at the Jacobs School of Music. He was invited to join in this traditional Christmas concert by the director of the Singing Hoosiers, Chris Albanese. 

Related: [Jacobs School of Music reschedules Dec. 1 show of ‘The Nutcracker’ to Dec. 4]

“This is the first time NOTUS will collaborate with the Singing Hoosiers and the African American Choral Ensemble in a performance,” DiOrio said. “We don’t normally have a Christmas concert of our own, so it’s nice to be able to sing some music that’s of the season.” 

DiOrio has established NOTUS as a vocal ensemble that performs contemporary classical works highlighting the diversity of America. They will bring this unique sound to the “Chimes of Christmas.” 

“It’s not traditional music in the sense that they’re carols of hymns people will know,” DiOrio said. “These are pieces written in about the last five years.” 

The major piece performed in the concert will be “The Ballad of the Brown King” by Margaret Bonds, which will be performed by the Singing Hoosiers, NOTUS and the African American Choral Ensemble all together. 

NOTUS will then perform Richard Allain’s “The Magi’s Gift,” followed by a piece composed by DiOrio himself titled “The Yuletide Carol.” Despite its name, DiOrio emphasized the nontraditional nature of the piece, which he said was more inspired by the pagan origins of the season. 

Related: [Jacobs School of Music Ballet Theater to present ‘The Nutcracker’ Dec. 1-4]

“I wanted to get back to the mystery of the solstice,” DiOrio said. “The darkest time of the year and the elements of dark and light that come from it. The poet Kyle Conner wanted to explore those themes as well and do something different.” 

After the “Chimes of Christmas,” NOTUS will perform Sarah Kirkland Snider’s “Mass for the Endangered” at 8 p.m. at Auer Concert Hall Feb. 7. 

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