Musica Sacra Celebrates Christmas in Italian, French Baroque TraditionNovember 15, 2010

Musica Sacra and Orchestra continues its celebration of Rockhurst University's centennial and its own 20th anniversary performance season with a Baroque Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in St. Francis Xavier Church, 52nd Street and Troost Avenue.

Charpentier's In Nativitatem Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Canticum (Song of the Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ) is the centerpiece of this year's Christmas program. Written between 1655 and 1688, the work exhibits both French and Italianate characteristics.

Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria in D Major, RV 589, lends creative balance to the program. The piece was probably written between 1713 and 1719 when the composer served as both maestro di cappella and maestro di coro for the Ospedale della Pieta, one of the four orphanages for girls in Venice. Remarkable as it seems, the work was initially performed by young students.

Keeping with tradition, Musica Sacra will conclude the concert with Christmas carols, an audience favorite. Director Timothy L. McDonald, Ph.D., will present "Live Program Notes" at 6:15 p.m. Tickets ($18, $12) are available through the Central Ticket Office by calling (816) 235-6222 and online at www.rockhurst.edu/mstickets or at the door.

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