The musical talents of students from the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music were a force for good last week during the 28th annual Christmas Concert for Charity, which raised more than $15,100 to support Catholic Charities USA Hurricane Relief. The collected funds were supplemented by a $25,000 donation from the Archdiocese of Washington.
The concert, which was cosponsored by The Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, was held before a packed audience on Dec. 1 in the Basilica’s Great Upper Church. It featured performances by the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine, as well as the Catholic University Chamber Choir, the University Singers, and the CUA Symphony Orchestra conducted by Timothy McDonnell, director of choral activities and the Institute of Sacred Music, and Allan Laino, director of the University Singers.
The concert also included the premiere of an original composition by Valencio Jackson, a Catholic University doctoral student in composition who grew up in the Virgin Islands, an area that experienced severe damage from Hurricane Maria earlier this year. Jackson’s composition, “Hush,” was based on the text of Isaac Watts’s “Cradle Hymn,” and reflected the hopefulness and joy of the Christmas season.