The Catholic University of America

Dec. 17, 2010

22nd Annual Charity Concert To Be Aired on Christmas

  University President John Garvey (second from the left) and his wife Jeanne join Rev. Melvin Blanchette, S.S., rector of Theological College, and Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector of the Basilica, before the concert.

A one-hour version of the 22nd Annual Christmas Concert for Charity will air locally on WHUT-TV32 from 10 to 11 a.m. on Christmas day. The complete concert will air on EWTN-TV on Wednesday, Dec. 22, at 1 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 25, at 5 p.m.; and Friday, Dec. 31, at 11 p.m.

Co-sponsored by CUA and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the Dec. 3 concert drew a crowd to the Basilica, where red poinsettias lined the steps leading to the altar and evergreen garlands hung from the upper balconies. The concert raised funds for the Vieban Annual Fund at Theological College, the seminary of Catholic University.

Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector of the Basilica, welcomed the audience and John Garvey, president of Catholic University, introduced Rev. Melvin Blanchette, S.S., rector of Theological College, who spoke on behalf of the seminary

The Vieban fund is named for Rev. Anthony Vieban, S.S., who served as rector of the seminary from 1932 to 1944. The fund supports the school’s operating budget. Tuition and fees cover only a portion of the cost of seminarians’ academic training and formation to become priests, noted Father Blanchette. The Vieban Annual Fund helps to support the daily prayer and worship activities of the seminary community, and the formation of each seminarian.

Leo Nestor, Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music, conducts CUA musicians and singers.


The concert featured The Catholic University of America Chamber Choir, University Singers, University Chorus, and Symphony Orchestra; and the Choir of the Basilica. The 20-member resident Choir of the Basilica was directed by Peter Latona, music director for the Basilica. CUA's musicians were led by Leo Nestor, Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music, and David Searle, director of orchestral activities and conducting studies.

The CUA musicians premièred “Parate viam Domini,” a work by Brian Rice, a doctoral student in music composition. It is an annual custom for CUA students and faculty to première new works at this concert. In addition to works by Mozart, Handel and Haydn, the concert also featured “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head,” by Nestor. New orchestrations by Nestor and CUA music theory lecturer Richard Miller were also performed.
The Basilica audience joined the CUA choruses and orchestra in singing several popular Christmas carols. Prior to the concert, Robert Grogan, CUA lecturer and faculty adviser on organ, presented a carillon recital. Grogan is also carillonneur and organist emeritus of the Basilica.

EWTN-TV will also re-air the 2009 Christmas Concert for Charity on Thursday, Dec. 23, at 3:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 26, at 1:30 p.m.; and Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m.


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