Bel Canto Chorus
Press Release

Bel Canto Chorus Presents Christmas in the Basilica

Annual concert finds balance between holiday favorites and a world premiere

By - Nov 9th, 2017 03:25 pm
Christmas in the Basilica. Photo from Bel Canto Chorus.

Christmas in the Basilica. Photo from Bel Canto Chorus.

MILWAUKEE, WI (November 9, 2017)Bel Canto Chorus brings its vocal power to the holiday season with its annual Christmas in the Basilica. This year’s seasonal concert will include traditional carols, the always-anticipated sing-alongs, and new Christmas music by Milwaukee composer, Daniel Van Gelderen. Three performances of the concert will take place December 8–10 at the historic Basilica of St. Josaphat.

The well-loved holiday concert continues a tradition that has lasted almost a decade, and which was started by music director, Richard Hynson. He credits his own childhood as the source for his desire for the chorus to sing in a space with such rich history and stunning architecture as the Basilica. “From the moment you walk into the Basilica you are surrounded by beauty.  You can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit,” said Hynson. Each year, he challenges himself to find a balance between well-established classics and the newest sounds of Christmas. “I am especially excited about this year’s Christmas in the Basilica concerts because we have such a unique and delightful combination of music, from traditional carols that all may sing to brand-new works that celebrate the joy and majesty of the season.”

As a result, audiences can look forward to singing along with such favorites as Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and Handel’s Joy to the World, accompanied by organist Kevin Bailey. In addition to the world premiere of A Christmas Gloria by Daniel Van Gelderen, a piece commissioned by Bel Canto Chorus, the concert will also feature the U.S. premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Gloria.

Composer Daniel Van Gelderen will be in attendance for the world premiere of his commissioned piece. At 29 years old, Van Gelderen is an accomplished cellist, conductor, and composer, and has already composed and arranged over 100 works. For nine years he participated in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, and in 2010 he graduated from Baptist College of Ministry with a double major in Bible and music, with an emphasis in conducting and composing. In the spring of 2011, his commissioned work on the Civil War, A Remembrance, was premiered by Bel Canto Chorus and Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.


Individual tickets are on sale now for $29.50, $35, and $61 (premium seating); student and senior discounts available starting at $19. Purchase online at or by phone at 414-481-8801.

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