Image Courtesy of the Catholic University of America
By Zachary Lichter
On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, an email went out to the Catholic University campus community that the Annual Christmas Concert for Charity was postponed due to a power outage in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The concert was supposed to happen on Friday, December 3. The staff at the Basilica was able to order a generator. Unfortunately, the generator was scheduled to arrive Sunday, December 5, after the originally-scheduled date for the concert. The Dean of the Benjamin Rome T. School of Music, Drama, and Art, Jackie Leary-Warsaw, had to reschedule the concert for later in the Spring semester. The date is still yet to be determined.
“We found out about the concert getting canceled on Wednesday afternoon through an email sent to us by the orchestra manager, Rebekah O’Brien, which I think went out before the university-wide announcement,” said junior music major and oboe player Alexandra Jernakoff. “We had even received a rehearsal schedule for that evening earlier the same day, so the announcement of the cancellation in the afternoon was pretty shocking.”
The Annual Christmas Concert for Charity has been a longstanding tradition for students here at Catholic University. The concert typically features the Choir of the Basilica, Catholic University’s Choir, and Catholic University’s Symphony Orchestra. The show typically raises thousands of dollars for charity and is usually scheduled on the first Friday of December. The concert is also recorded and broadcasted on the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN) during the holiday season.
“The thing that musicians most look forward to in the Christmas concert is the opportunity to perform for an audience of millions through EWTN,” said junior music and history major, and clarinet player Matthew Sie. “Additionally the concert is a great way to connect with the CUA community, and it’s just a wonderful moment of good cheer during the holiday season.”
With the Annual Concert for Charity canceled, the question remains if the repertoire will be changed for the Symphony Orchestra and the choir since the concert will be rescheduled after the holiday season. In the meantime, there is still the Choir and Symphony Orchestra’s Easter-themed concert to look forward to in the spring semester. The repertoire for this concert will feature soloists from the Catholic University Choir and a few reused pieces from the Symphony Orchestra. The emails for the Easter-themed concert and the make-up date for the Christmas Concert are yet to be determined.
“I think people should look forward to hearing an Easter-themed concert!” said Sie. “It is definitely more uncommon, but the Easter music we are going to prepare will be great. I think it should be a unique concert unlike any other!”