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The Lafayette College Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and Orchestra will usher in the holiday season December 3-5 with three presentations of “A Lafayette Christmas” at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Performances will be held 7 p.m. on Friday and at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. No tickets are required.

Under the direction of William J. Naydan, the vocalists will perform the Vivaldi Gloria and Joyeux Noel, a festival of French carols, accompanied by the Lafayette College Orchestra, directed by Marka Young.

“These two major works are great orchestral arrangements that can be performed with a small chamber orchestra,” says Naydan, a 1978 Lafayette graduate who has been director of choral activities at the College since 1992. “The Vivaldi Gloria is a wonderful classic of choral literature. The Wagner arrangement of Joyeux Noel is a new, fresh arrangement.”

In addition, the Chamber Singers will perform Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium and a King's Singers arrangement of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

At the conclusion of the concert, audience members are invited to join the choir for a carol sing-along and refreshments in the lobby.

This year's Christmas concert is breaking with the previous practice of hiring professional musicians to back the vocalists.

“This is the first year we are combining with the string orchestra, so it should be a very entertaining concert,” says Naydan. “I thought it would be a good showcase for the talented performers on this campus.

Naydan holds a bachelor's degree from Lafayette in Russian and German and a master's in opera performance from Temple University. He is choral director and head of the music department at Hatboro-Horsham High School, where he conducts five ensembles. He is also state chair for multicultural music of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association and higher education representative to District 11 of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.

Young, who has been Lafayette's director of string ensembles since 1995, is also a busy performer in New York City. She is a member of The American Classical Orchestra, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Artek, a chamber music ensemble. She holds doctoral and master's degrees from State University of New York at Stony Brook, and a bachelor's degree from Sarah Lawrence College. She is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music preparatory division.

For more information, call the Williams Center box office, 610-330-5009.

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