KU School of Music’s seasonal Vespers concerts now free

It’s one of the most exciting times of year in the KU School of Music. Two beloved annual Vespers programs are returning to the Lied Center.

Vespers, now in its 98th year, kicks off on Sunday, December 4th, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and features performances and seasonal sounds from vocal and instrumental ensembles. Jazz Vespers, another free event, returns this year as well, kicking off on December 8th at 7:30 p.m.

About Vespers:

This year’s Vespers program will feature instrumental numbers, works that combine choir with orchestra, and a cappella songs. Repertoire includes classics like “Ding, Dong Merrily on High!” in a great arrangement by Ryan Murphy, and “Gloria” (first movement) by John Rutter.

Musicians will also perform “Thixo Onothando,” a wonderful South African song of praise arranged by Michael Barrett; “Estrellita de Belén,” a folk-inspired new song by Ariel Quintana; “Kujichagulia” (Self Determination, one of the principles of Kwanzaa), composed by the up-and-coming Zanaida Robles; “El Yvneh Hagalil,” a traditional Hebrew folk song arranged by Peter Sozio; and the spiritual “Music Down in my Soul,” arranged by Moses Hogan. The program will also include the festive “Walz Les patineurs,” written by Émile Waldteufe; “Slavonic Dance 8” by Antonín Dvořák; and even a number from the opera “La traviatta” by Giuseppe Verdi.

 Keep an eye out for special appearances by the KU Trumpet Ensemble, directed by Prof. Steve Leisring, and by the KU Trombone Ensemble, directed by Prof. Michael Davidson.

About Jazz Vespers:

The 2022 KU Jazz Vespers will take place on Thursday, December 8, at 7:30 PM in the Lied Center, and will once again feature performances of holiday favorites in a jazz and pop setting. This year’s edition of Jazz Vespers will feature 2022 DownBeat Award winners KU Jazz Ensemble I, and a newly reassembled version of the KU Jazz Singers, along with featured guest artists Kerry Marsh and Julia Dollison, vocalists/arrangers.  

 Marsh is a graduate of KU (BME, 2000) who is one of the leading arrangers and publishers of vocal jazz music in the world today. He has worked with singer/songwriter Ben Folds for many years as an arranger and director in numerous performances with major symphony orchestras. Dollison, a classically trained soprano and experienced studio and jazz singer, released her critically-acclaimed debut CD “Observatory” in 2005, and can be heard on the soundtracks for “Vera Drake”, “The Corpse Bride” and numerous commercials for Disney, Fox, Coca Cola and others. In 2010, she and her husband Marsh released “Vertical Voices:  The Music of Maria Schneider,”which was named as one of DownBeat’s Best Albums of 2010. Both Dollison and Marsh previously taught at the University of Northern Colorado and Sacramento State University, where their vocal ensembles and soloists won 19 DownBeat Student Music Awards.


This event is FREE but tickets are required. Pick up tickets in person at the Lied Center Box Office 1600 Stewart Drive Lawrence, KS 66045.

For more information, please visit lied.ku.edu or call 785-864-2787.