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Capitol Caroling on tap Tuesday

Last year’s 75th annual Capitol Caroling was performed at the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda. This year’s concert will be Tuesday. Dec. 10.

Last year’s 75th annual Capitol Caroling was performed at the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda. This year’s concert will be Tuesday. Dec. 10. Photo by News Tribune.

Deck the halls — or, in this case, the Rotunda.

A collection of classic holiday canticles will emanate from the Rotunda of the Capitol as part of Capitol Caroling, an annual event put on by the Jefferson City High School Fine Arts Department, at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

In its 76th year, the event will feature selections from “Feast of Carols” by Randol Bass, as well as other longstanding favorites including “O Holy Night,” “Hallelujah Chorus” and “Silent Night,” according to choir director Beth Dampf.

The high school chorale, concert choir, freshman choir, symphonic orchestra and symphonic band will perform collectively for several pieces. However, the audience will also hear carols specific to each respective ensemble, said Dampf.

Though combining vocal and instrumental ensembles can sometimes prove troublesome, Dampf aspires to live up to the hopes of community members and past performers, she said.

“We want to be careful to not let the community down,” Dampf said. “We try to step our game up a little bit. We pick different challenging pieces to highlight … the strengths of the ensembles.”

Dampf believes the student performers appreciate the legacy of the holiday event.

“The students enjoy participating in something that has been a tradition for 75 years in the community,” she said.

Despite criticism in years past concerning the presence of religiously themed music in performances by public school ensembles, Dampf said the JCHS Fine Arts Department “tries to cover all facets of the holiday season.”

“We cover secular and sacred sides. The pieces are educational in value,” she said.

Dampf highlighted the uniqueness of the Capitol Rotunda as a holiday concert venue.

“It’s unlike any other concert in the state. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us,” she said.

Dampf encouraged the public to “experience a tradition of the Jefferson City community” and touted Capitol Caroling as “an opportunity to become involved in the Christmas spirit and the Jefferson City Fine Arts Department.”

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