Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 11, 2013

IU Kokomo Christmas concert hits Peru

College choirs performing in town for the first time.

By Carson Gerber
MC Weekly

---- — The Indiana University Kokomo choirs will present their Christmas concert called “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” in Peru Friday for the first time ever.

The concert features the Crescendos, a more than 80-member group made up of students and locals, and the audition-only group called the Diminuendos.

The choirs will turn classic, solemn Christmas tunes into up-tempo rock songs during the first half of the show, and perform a more traditional, sacred, stand-and-sing choir event during the second half.

“It’s a really exciting show this year,” said Jason Gornto, the choirs’ assistant director. “It’s kind of two extremes. The first half is rock and the second half is sacred.”

“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” will be set inside a rock cafe and will feature a little dialogue, some swing dancing and lots of singing. The show opens up with a mash-up of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and “Carol of the Bells,” and ends with the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. Friday inside the Peru High School auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and seating is first come, first serve. Admission is free.

Gornto said the choirs decided to perform their show in Peru this year because a handful of singers are from Miami County, and enrollment of Peru students at IUK is growing.

“Miami County seemed like a good place,” he said. “IUK has a lot of students who have started enrolling form Miami County, so it seemed like the right fit.”

Gornto said anyone looking to get into the Christmas spirit should come to the concert for a great evening of holiday music.

“It’s really a great opportunity to have music of collegiate caliber come to Peru,” he said. “We’re hoping to pack the house.”

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com, or on Twitter @carsongerber1.