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'Gift of the Magi,' with score by ODU's Hailstork, premieres Dec. 13

"The Gift of the Magi," a new choral/orchestra work by Adolphus Hailstork, Old Dominion University professor of music, will premiere locally Sunday, Dec. 13, and Tuesday, Dec. 15.

Commissioned by the Virginia Children's Chorus, the score for a children's chorus, orchestra and dancers is based on the beloved O. Henry short story about love and generosity at Christmastime.

The original concept and libretto for Hailstork's "The Gift of the Magi" was envisioned by VCC's founder and artistic director, Carol Thomas Downing. The 25-minute work will be presented as a choral suite, with orchestral and dance segments to develop the story line. It is being performed in collaboration with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Todd Rosenlieb Dance Company.

The choral ballet will be staged at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at Christopher Newport University's Ferguson Center and 8 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Regent University Theatre.

An acclaimed composer, Hailstork has composed pieces for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, as well as orchestras, opera companies, chamber ensembles and choruses nationwide.

Other recent commissions by Hailstork include "Rise for Freedom," an opera about the Underground Railroad, which premiered in October 2007 by the Cincinnati Opera Company; "Serenade" for chorus and orchestra, commissioned by Michigan State University, in spring 2008; and "Set Me on a Rock," also for chorus and orchestra, commissioned by the Houston Choral Society.

This article was posted on: December 11, 2009

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