Event is free and open to the public
December 4, 2023
President Marty Schmidt ’81 and his wife, Lyn, invite the Capital Region to join them for RPI’s free Annual Holiday Concert, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) on RPI’s campus.
The event will be followed by a reception. Guests will receive limited edition seasonal swag while supplies last. RSVPs are required online here.
The concert, titled “You Shall Have a Song,” celebrates peace and unity. Under the direction of Robert Whalen, Ph.D., director of Institute ensembles, it will include performances from the Rensselaer Wind Symphony, the Rensselaer Concert Choir, and the Rensselaer Orchestra.
“RPI’s Annual Holiday Concert is a unique opportunity for the Institute to come together at the end of another successful semester and celebrate the whole Rensselaer community, of which the ensembles are a snapshot,” said Whalen. “Students in the orchestra, choir, and wind symphony represent 26 different majors and all the schools at RPI. This concert is a tribute to their musical passion, dedication, and commitment to excellence as student-artists. We in the Rensselaer Ensembles extend our gratitude to President and Mrs. Schmidt for hosting this beautiful annual event.”
The Wind Symphony will perform Norman Dello Joio’s Renaissance-inspired Scenes from the Louvre in an arrangement by Robert Longfeld, as well as Gustav Holst’s First Suite in E-Flat Major, a cornerstone work of concert-band repertoire.
The concert choir will feature the world premiere of “Kouyou” by Avery Roach ’25, an undergraduate in Rensselaer’s electronic arts program, as well as “Bogoroditse Djevo,” Movement 6 of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and selections from Randall Thompson’s cycle of sacred choruses Peaceable Kingdom, from which the concert takes its name and theme.
To close out the night, the orchestra will perform Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Movement 2 of Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in e minor, featuring Rensselaer Concerto Competition Winner Rory Devin ’23, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Ballade in A minor.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome Rory Devin ’23 back to campus to perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto no. 1,” said Whalen. “Rory was a winner of the 2023 Rensselaer Concerto Competition before graduating last spring, where he won the opportunity to perform the Chopin with the Rensselaer Orchestra in concert. Rory was an exceptional student at Rensselaer and is now pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at Princeton University.”
RPI’s Annual Holiday Concert is a tradition that emphasizes the spirit of the season and celebrates the creativity and hard work of Rensselaer students, and they are thrilled to share their experience with the wider community.