Spirits soar at Holidays at Hendricks

Spirits soar at Holidays at Hendricks

The annual winter concert kicked off the most wonderful time of the year on campus.
Published: December 3, 2018
The Hendricks Chapel choir performs Sunday evening at the annual Holidays at Hendricks concert.
The Hendricks Chapel choir performs Sunday evening at the annual Holidays at Hendricks concert.

Nothing gets us in the holiday spirit faster than the right soundtrack. Those familiar winter-time tunes spark the warm holiday feelings we anticipate all year long.

On the evening of Sunday, December 2, members of the Syracuse community spilled into the Hendricks Chapel pews to enjoy the spirited sounds of Holidays at Hendricks. The annual concert featured performances from the Hendricks Chapel Choir, the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble and choirs from S.U.’s Setnor School of Music alongside the University’s organist, Dr. Anne Laver. The Setnor choirs included University Singers, Crouse Chorale, the Syracuse University Concert Choir and the Syracuse University Vocal Jazz ensemble.

Dr. José “Peppie” Calvar, the concert’s artistic director, conducted the performance through several classic carols, but began with a nontraditional approach to holiday tunes. Promptly at 7:30 p.m., a handful of singers on stage and up in the balconies broke into a thundering chorus of “Noel.” Soon after, all members of every choir paraded through the aisles to join them in an African arrangement of the jubilant song, creating a festive air inside the chapel.

The Hendricks Chapel choir remained on stage for a rendition of “Jerusalem,“ sung entirely in Hebrew. Sundown on December 2nd also marked the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

One of the Holidays at Hendricks highlights came approximately halfway through the concert when Otto appeared at the chapel’s entrance and rushed the stage with a conductor’s baton in hand. The entire audience rose to their feet at his direction and burst out into the holiday standard, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

The accumulation of holiday spirit came on full display at the conclusion of the night’s performances. The lights were lowered and the choir members on stage, each with a candle in hand, passed the flame around until it spread throughout the audience to the tune of “Silent Night.” The sea of candles illuminated the chapel, catching the glint of glitter on the balcony wreaths and brass instruments.  

Holidays at Hendricks was hosted by Rev. Brian Konkol, the chapel’s dean. The concert was free to the public and broadcasted on public television stations throughout Western, Central, and Northern New York.

Avatar for Kate Kozuch

is a magazine senior at Syracuse