Choirs combine for Orpheum Christmas concert
By Kenny Keane, Globe staff reporter
Posted December 5, 2002
All four of Heelan High School's choirs will combine with the Blessed
Sacrament Celebration Choir and the Nativity Jubilation Choir in A Christmas
Celebration at the Orpheum at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14 in Sioux City.
This evening of seasonal music will take place in the area's premier
performance center, the Orpheum, featuring approximately 230 Heelan students and
100 adult singers along with a 40-piece orchestra consisting of professional
musicians from the Siouxland area.
According to John Flanery, director of the Heelan High School choirs, it
should be a great, fun event with a lot of traditional Christmas carols as well
as some different arrangements.
"I think above and beyond, even the music in general, it will be a site
to see these 330 singers plus the 40-piece orchestra and seeing people who are
well into their 70s standing next to somebody who might be only 14 kind of
bridging the gap of generations on the risers," he said. "Just having
the kids understand that singing is a lifelong skill and a lifelong opportunity
is a huge part of it, too, in terms of what people are going to walk away with.
"It will be great to see that spirit of multigenerational singers
together and performing great Christmas music as they are wonderfully
accompanied in the finest performance venue in the region."
The Heelan choirs had participated in Christmas at the Cathedral in the past,
but Flanery said that concert took on a whole new shape and dynamic this year.
Therefore, he was looking for a way to get the kids another great Christmas
Along with Sherri Rossiter and Jan Miller, choir directors for Nativity and
Blessed Sacrament respectively, Flanery came up with the idea for this Christmas
Rossiter said her group is very excited and honored to have been asked to
take part in this event.
"I think it's a venue that we as a small, Catholic Church choir may not
have ever had the chance to perform in had it not been for John asking us to
participate in this," she said. "I have no idea what it's like to
perform there. I just have been in attendance and know that it's a grand place,
and it will be a grand evening."
The Blessed Sacrament choir is thrilled about this unique opportunity,
according to Miller.
"Not too often do you get to sing in such a large group of singers who
are qualified and get to sing with an orchestra in the place where we get to
sing," she said. "Most of our parents in our choir have children at
Heelan. Singing with fellow parishioners, fellow students, relatives and all the
people is just going to bring us together.
"I just think it's going to make their Christmas season. To say we are
thrilled is almost an understatement."
Tickets can be purchased by calling Heelan (252-0573 x218), Blessed Sacrament
(277-2949) or Nativity (276-3022).
General admission tickets are $10 a piece, however, for those who prefer a
reserved seat, Marty Dougherty, development director of the Catholic Schools of
Sioux City (CSSC), said "gold tickets" are available at $35 each for
the "best seats in the house." That also includes a coffee and desert
reception in the atrium following the performance, with proceeds from the sale
of the gold tickets benefiting the fine arts' programs for the CSSC.
"How else can you get into the Orpheum for 10 bucks a seat?"
Flanery asked. "You can bring a family of four to this for what it costs
for you to see most other events for one person. So we think we've got that
going on our side, too.
"Our intent is to make this the Siouxland holiday tradition event of the
Christmas season and to continue next year and in years to come. We want to make
it a cornerstone of people's celebration of Christmas and try to fill the house