Audience participation added to concert

There will be a couple of changes this year.

First, John Dickson will be directing the LSU A Cappella Choir’s 63rd annual candlelight concert. He is LSU’s new director of choirs, named to the position after Kenneth Fulton’s retirement last spring after 27 years in the role.

And with Dickson’s direction comes another change.

“We’ll be adding some audience participation this year,” he said. “We’ll ask the audience to join us in singing three Christmas carols, which will be accompanied by the LSU Brass Consort.”

All this will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, in the LSU Union Theater. This year’s concert is called “Heaven and Earth in Little Space,” a title taken from the medieval carol, “There is No Rose of Such Virtue.”

“The concert will include choral settings from some of the great Christmas literature spanning more than 1,000 years,” Dickson said.

Pieces will be performed in Russian, French, Spanish, Latin and English.

“One of the great distinctions in this concert is the readings,” Dickson said.

“This isn’t a lessons and carols program — it’s not a liturgical service. But the readings are thoughtful, and they’re placed between each set. It’s an elegant way of ‘singing in’ the holidays.”

The candlelight concert will be the a cappella choir’s final performance for the semester. It’s also one of the choir’s most popular programs.

“Any time you have great holiday music during the season, there’s always a festive energy,” Dickson said.

Fifty-three students make up the LSU A Cappella Choir.

“Most of them are music majors, but we also have some non-music majors,” Dickson said.

The choir will hit the road in February for its annual tour. But “singing in” the holidays takes priority for now.

With the audience singing along.