Sounds of the season

David Richardson

David Richardson, new director of the UW-L Choral Union, conducts in a Monday night rehearsal in preparation for the group's Sunday, Dec. 4 concert. Richardson is looking for more members to join the community choir.

Celebrate the holiday season with UW-La Crosse bands and choirs. Five upcoming UW-L concerts feature traditional carols, new yuletide music and some of UW-L’s new directing talent.

This year UW-L has three new directors: Kathryn Skemp Moran, new director of the Women’s Chorus; Tom Seddon, director of the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, and David Richardson, director of the Choral Union.

They will come together to conduct or accompany works performed in UW-L’s 19th Annual Festival of Carols at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, in Valhalla at UW-L’s Cartwright Center – Gunning Addition. Also, Richardson will lead the UW-L Choral Union in a Sunday, Dec. 4 concert and Seddon will lead the Wind Ensemble in a Sunday, Dec. 11 performance.

Skemp Moran brings more than 10 years of opera experience to UW-L, including singing with the Chicago Opera Theatre, Aspen Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Glimmerglass Opera. She continues to perform opera and will tour with the Boston Pops Orchestra during the holiday season.

Kathryn Skemp Moran

Kathryn Skemp Moran directs the UW-L Women's Chorus in a rehearsal.

Seddon was previously director of bands at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Conn. for seven years and, prior to that, he was a junior high and high school band instructor. He is also a member of a brass quintet, which has toured the U.S. and Europe.

Richardson served eight years as a vocal coach and accompanist at Boston University. As an accompanist, he has worked for various choral groups and operas including the Houston Grand Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Boston Lyric Opera.

Richardson started conducting the 60-member Choral Union this fall and will conduct the group in its first concert under his direction at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 at The Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, 530 Main St., La Crosse. The group will perform Rutter’s “Gloria” and Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s “Messe de Minuit pour Noel,” a work based on French Christmas carols.

“I’ve been impressed by his musical knowledge and attention to detail,” says Roy Munderloh, a bass in the choir. “ I think he is making a good impression on everyone his first year.”

Richardson says he’s looking to recruit more members to Choral Union. The group of UW-L students, faculty, staff and community members primarily performs larger symphonic works. Next semester they will perform Mozart’s “Requiem.” Auditions are necessary for placement only. Contact Richardson at if interested.

Korean Percussion Ensemble

What: Traditional Korean drumming
Where: Annett Recital Hall, Center for the Arts.
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30
Admission: Free

Choral Union

Where: The Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman, 530 Main St., La Crosse.
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4
Admission: Tickets are available at the door. They are $5 for students and $10 for others.

Swinging Yuletide Concert

Who: The La Crosse Jazz Orchestra, UW-L Jazz Ensembles, and the LaX Jazz4tet join to play big band and vocal jazz holiday favorites.
What: This year’s performance marks the return of “The Nutcracker Suite” from the Les Brown Orchestra. Other selections include those from American Jazz Musician Glenn Miller, Big Phat Band, The Airmen of Note, and a number of new and seasoned artists.
Cabaret seating and beverage service is available. Santa and Mrs. Claus will also make an appearance.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3
Where: Valhalla, UW-L Cartwright Center – Gunning Addition.
Admission: Call 608.785.8415. General admission is $5 for students and $10 for others. Reserved seating is $20.

Festival of Carols

Who: UW-L Concert Choir, Männerchor, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Women’s Chorus, Chamber Choir, Brass Choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble II, LX Noise
What: The concert will feature traditional, well-known carols as well as new yuletide music written by UW-L composers
Where: Valhalla at UW-L’s Cartwright Center – Gunning Addition
When: 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10
Admission: Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 608.785.8415 or at the door. Suggested ticket donations are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $5 for students.

Wind Ensemble

What: The ensemble will perform a major work “Lincolnshire Posy” by Percy Grainger as well as a number of other folk songs, concluding with “A Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson.
Where: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11
When: Christ Episcopal Church, La Crosse, 111 Ninth St. N., La Crosse.
Admission: Free