Orange Alert

SUBE Harmonizes with Syracuse Chorale Dec. 10

Groups collaborate on holiday concerts

Dec. 7, 2016, by Renee K. Gadoua

SUBE Director, James Spencer

“Holidays at Hendricks” may be over for the year, but the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble (SUBE) musicians can’t put away their instruments for the season just yet. In addition to preparing for Syracuse’s annual musical celebration, SUBE this semester collaborated on three holiday concerts with Syracuse Chorale, a community choir directed by Director of Choral Activities Peppie Calvar.

“It’s great to combine forces with the Syracuse Chorale to present some of the most beautiful music of the season” says James T. Spencer, SUBE director and Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor. “It is through collaborations among instrumental and vocal musicians that we can present repertoire that brings out the best in us all.”

SUBE will perform at Chorale’s “Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. at DeWitt Community Church, 3600 Erie Blvd. E. The centerpiece of the concert is a series of contemporary gospel arrangements of familiar Christmas songs. Several songs on the program were performed at “Holidays at Hendricks.”

Artistic Director of the Syracuse Chorale, Peppie Calvar

“It’s a privilege to be able to share this music with our community,” Calvar says. “We are equally privileged to collaborate with the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble.”

The brass ensemble and choir will perform the concert’s opening and closing numbers together. “In Dulci Jubilo” presents the traditional German song with new words and arrangement by Calvar. The arrangement is dedicated to Spencer, in celebration of his 30 years of service to Syracuse University.

“The new text is intended to be reflective of our common values as citizens of a constantly shrinking world, and to remind us that we have the power and freedom to change our circumstances together in unity,” Calvar says.

Spencer will conduct the final movement of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem,” which he arranged. 

The SUBE includes Syracuse University students, faculty and staff, State University of New York Upstate Medical University faculty and staff and other Upstate New York musicians. SUBE is a permanent ensemble-in-residence through the College of Arts and Sciences and Hendricks Chapel.

Syracuse University Brass Ensemble

Syracuse Chorale is a non-audition community choir performing since 1953. Calvar was named artistic director in July 2015.

Numerous Syracuse and Hendricks Chapel Choir alumni sing with Chorale, including Denise Ellis G’15, who also serves as Chorale’s assistant conductor. Ellis teaches vocal music at Hannibal Central Schools. Jolanis Alexandre ’18 is Chorale’s accompanist. She also sings with the Syracuse University Concert Choir.

Two faculty members sing with Chorale. They are Lois Agnew, chair of the Department of Writing Studies, Rhetoric and Composition, and William C. Banks, founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism and professor in the College of Law.

Tickets for the Dec. 10 concert are $12 in advance (available at, $15 at the door; and children 18 and under are admitted free.

The two groups will also perform at the Brass and Bells Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. at United Church of Fayetteville. The concert is free, although there will be a free-will collection and attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for the Fayetteville-Manlius “Outreach.” A third concert, sponsored by the Cortland Rotary Club, was held Dec. 3 at Cortland High School.

Media Contact

Robert M Enslin