Notre Dame Children’s Choir to perform with Arturo Sandoval in Los Angeles, celebrating release of new Christmas album

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Mark Doerries, associate director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame, rehearses with the Notre Dame Children's Choir.

Mark Doerries, associate director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame, rehearses with the Notre Dame Children's Choir.

The University of Notre Dame Children’s Choir will perform with award-winning jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles in support of his new album, “Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame.”

The guest appearance is part of Sandoval’s “Swinging Christmas with the Arturo Sandoval Big Band” concert at 8 p.m. on Dec. 21 (Friday).

The Notre Dame Children’s Choir is joined by Notre Dame students Emily Swope, a soprano and master's student in voice, and senior music major Alexander Mansour, a pianist and arranger of seven songs on Sandoval’s album. The ensemble is led by Mark Doerries, associate director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame.

Sandoval recorded “Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame” in May 2017, returning to the University after receiving an honorary doctoral degree the previous year. The 12-track album includes religious classics such as “Silent Night” and secular songs such as “Frosty the Snowman.”

The album debuted in October and has spent the past six weeks in the top five albums on Billboard’s Chart of Jazz Albums. In addition to the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, the album features the Notre Dame Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Winds.

“This album unites a wide cross-section of the Notre Dame community, with undergraduate and graduate students, child choristers and professional musicians to create vibrant renditions of classic Christmas music,” Doerries said.

For tickets to the Walt Disney Concert Hall performance, visit www.laphil.com.

Founded in 2013, the Notre Dame Children’s Choir provides free music education to more than 300 choristers between the ages of 1 and 17 each week. The choir has toured from Minneapolis to New York City, performed for the National Pastoral Musicians’ Association and the Indiana Music Education Association, and led a TEDx talk, “What If Children Were More Than Cute?

In 2016, "O Emmanuel," an Advent and Christmas cantata for jazz trio and choir by composer J.J. Wright — commissioned by and featuring the Notre Dame Children’s Choir — debuted at No. 1 on Billboards’ Chart of Traditional Classical Music. 

Profits from the sale of “Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame” will help support the Arturo Sandoval Institute Scholarship at Notre Dame, which provides access, support and inspiration to music students so they may continue their music education without economic worry.

An internationally acclaimed jazz and classical musician and composer, Sandoval, who is Cuban-American, has won 10 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award. He is a 2013 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Now an emeritus professor of music at Florida International University, he continues to tour, perform and offer clinics and seminars worldwide.

“Arturo Sandoval’s trumpet raises our spirits and gladdens our hearts as we celebrate Christmas,” said Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “His musical expression of unbridled joy and goodwill calls us to embrace the love, charity and reconciliation at the heart of this blessed season. ‘Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame’ is sure to become a holiday classic.”

The Notre Dame Children’s Choir will perform a second concert at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Huntington Beach, California, at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 23., featuring music from “O Emmanuel.” The performance is free and open to the public.

Contact: Mark Doerries, director of the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, mdoerries@nd.edu, 574-631-6528

Originally published by Arts and Letters at al.nd.edu on Nov. 27.