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SU Hosts Annual Winter Music Festival December 2-11

SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University celebrates the holidays with its annual winter music festival, “Four Magical Nights,” December 2-11 in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

The festival begins with Gian-Carlo Menotti’s opera Amahl and the Night Visitors featuring students and community members, followed by Ariel Ramirez’s "Misa Criolla" and "Navidad Nuestra," with soloist John Wesley Wright, from Thursday-Sunday, December 2-5. Other guest artists include guitarist Danielle Cumming, and percussionists Ted Nichols and Charles F. Smith Jr.

Performed by the University and Salisbury chorales and conducted by Dr. William Folger, SU director of choral studies, curtain is 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. The cast includes Josh Harman and Clark Mitchell as Amahl, Harry Gray and James Carpenter as King Melchior, Ed Isaacs and Nathan Gioconda as King Kaspar, Kathrin Thawley as Mother with Aleta Davis as understudy, Terron Quailes and Eric Russell as King Balthazar, and Jesse Saywell as Page.

General admission is $10. Admission plus a light-fare intermission social is $20. Ticket reservations may be made at:

The Salisbury Pops, conducted by Lee Knier, continues the festival 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 7. This one-hour program of traditional holiday music includes SU student soloists: Alison Bewley, soprano; Terron Quailes, baritone; and Amy Morgan, pianist; and a visit from Santa Claus.

Among selections are the time-honored classics “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride,” as well as contemporary pieces such as “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.” The band also performs a medley of Spanish carols and Hanukkah songs. Donations for the Salvation Army are accepted at the concert. Admission is free.

The Jazz Brazz Big Band, conducted by Dr. Jerry Tabor, performs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 9, with a selection of swing and Latin tunes. The SU Percussion Ensemble, directed by Ted Nichols, also performs.

Featured artists include vocalist Carly Ball, performing “A Child is Born,” Helen O’Connell’s “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and Benny Goodman’s “Don’t Be That Way”; percussionist Tom Simpson on Greg Yasinitsky’s “Tricky Sticks” and trumpeter Tom Davis on Clifford Brown’s “Joy Spring,” arranged by Jack Montrose. Also on the program is Mike Dana’s “El Chupacabra.” Admission is free.

The festival culminates with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra’s annual Holiday Concert, conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Schoyen, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, December 11. Mezzo-soprano Charlotte Paulsen, who performed with the SSO in 2007, re-joins the symphony to perform highlights from Handel’s Messiah, as well as “O Holy Night” and Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” Other pieces include Rimsky-Korsakov’s A Christmas Eve Suite and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite.

A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Paulsen has performed in France, Luxembourg, Mexico and Germany. She was awarded first place in the Wagnerian Voice division of the Liederkranz Foundation Awards and represented the United States at Zurich, Switzerland’s International Opera Studio. Her performance is part of the SSO’s silver anniversary season, celebrating 25 years of Town-Gown musical collaboration.

Sponsored by PNC Bank and Livingston, Hammond & Hill Wealth Management, LLC, admission is $20, $15 for seniors, $5 for children 12 and under. For tickets visit A pre-concert talk by Public Radio Delmarva’s Bill Bukowski is 6:30 p.m. in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall. His talk is free with admission to the concert.

The Local Owner Restaurant Association offers 10 percent off the entire check at participating restaurants Friday-Sunday, December 10-12, with an SSO ticket or stub. For a list of restaurants visit For more information on the SSO call 410-548-5587.

Free shuttles for evening concerts run from the Guerrieri University Center parking lot off Dogwood Drive to Holloway Hall from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and return following each concert.

Sponsored by the Department of Music, the public is invited to the festival concerts. For more information call 410-543-6385 or visit the SU Web site at