Music for the season: Series of concerts on tap for December

The Department of Music in Arts & Sciences will conclude its fall season with a series of December concerts.

Events begin at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, when classical guitar students present the evening-length concert “Guitar Gala” in Graham Chapel. At 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, graduate student Charlotte Fong will present a piano recital in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, located in the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave. Events continue at 7:30 p.m. that day when WUSTL’s Concert Choir performs a concert under the direction of John Stewart, director of vocal activities, also in Graham Chapel.

The department will host its annual sing-along of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, in Graham Chapel. The performance, which lasts about an hour, will include the Christmas portion of “Messiah” as well as the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Those who wish to participate in the sing-along may sit in special sections arranged according to voice type (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone), though those who choose not to sing also are welcome to attend.

Copies of the music will be available for those who do not bring their own scores.

Stewart directs the performance. William Partridge is organist. Soloists are all current students, faculty or alumni from Music’s Vocal Performance program and include sopranos Courtney Dey and Cecily Stewart; mezzo soprano Debra Hillabrand; tenors Jay O’Brien and Joshua Stanton; and baritone Nathan Ruggles.

Also on Sunday, Dec. 9, Jazz guitarist Bill Lenihan, lecturer in music, will present a recital at 8 p.m.

The Washington University Flute Choir will perform at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, followed by a recital featuring campus chamber ensembles at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11; both concerts take place in Graham Chapel.

The Washington University Jazz Band will perform at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Holmes Lounge, located in Ridgley Hall.

Finally, the Washington University Opera, directed by Jolly Stewart and conducted by John Stewart, will present an abridged version of Jules Massenet’s “Manon” at 8 p.m., Dec. 14 and 15, in Umrath Hall Lounge.

All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-5566 or e-mail