Symphonic Winds and Concert Choir Bring X-Cellence to Midwest Concert Tour

December 17, 2010

For the first time, about 100 members of the Xavier University Symphonic Winds and Xavier University Concert Choir will travel and perform together on a Midwest tour from January 4-8, 2011. Repertoire will include George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue (featuring student Jonathan Dandrow), Johannes Brahms’ Begrabnisgesang for chorus and winds, Vincent Persichetti’s Celebrations, and many others. Both groups also will showcase their talents individually on a wide variety of works.

The tour will take the group to Kaneland High School in Maple Park, IL on January 4 at 7:30 pm, Corpus Christi University Parish in Toledo, OH on January 5 at 7:30 pm, Magnificat High School in Rocky River, OH on January 6 at 7:30 pm, and to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Cleveland, OH where they will sing for the 4:30pm Vigil Mass on January 8. All appearances are free to the public, with donations welcome. In addition to performing a concert each day of the tour, students will have opportunities to meet and interact with local musicians, teachers, and students at each venue.

Both the Concert Choir and Symphonic Winds are auditioned ensembles with membership open to all university students, regardless of major. This touring group represents virtually every department across campus. Both groups perform primarily in the Cincinnati area, but also represent Xavier’s Department of Music throughout Ohio and surrounding states.

Dr. Thomas Merrill, conductor of the Concert Choir, is chair of the music department and Director for Choral Activities at Xavier University, where he conducts the Concert Choir and Edgecliff Vocal Ensemble. He teaches music history, music theory, conducting, and secondary choral methods. Dr. Matthew Westgate, conductor of Symphonic Winds, is Director for Instrumental Activities at Xavier University. In addition to Symphonic Winds, he also conducts the Jazz Ensemble, Xavier Pep bands, and chamber ensembles. He teaches instrumental methods, jazz history, and conducting.

Xavier University’s Department of Music offers two undergraduate programs: the Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in performance (instrument or voice), theory, composition or history, and the Bachelor of Science in Music Education. Music Education majors receive a multi-age license from the state of Ohio to teach music in the pre-K through grade 12 public school system. Both programs emphasize broad coverage of the field of music and combine a strong liberal arts core with a major area of study. Xavier University considers music an integral part of one’s liberal arts education. For more information on Xavier University’s music program, please visit or contact Dr. Thomas Merrill: or 513-745-3135.