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Crane Candlelight Concerts to be Broadcast on Public TV Across U.S. & Canada Again This Holiday Season

December 13, 2018

Dean Michael Sitton conducts the audience, along with the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra, at last year’s Crane Candlelight Concert.

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will usher in the holiday season next week, with what is sure to be an unforgettable set of Crane Candlelight Concerts to close out the College’s bicentennial year.

Don’t miss the chance to hear the magic in person! All are welcome to be a part of the tradition at the 2016 Crane Candlelight Concerts, which will be offered on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall.

Each year, the Crane Chorus and the Crane Symphony Orchestra come together to present a very special holiday concert, which is taped live for a nationally syndicated broadcast by WPBS TV. Featuring more than 250 carolers and musicians from the renowned Crane School of Music, the performance is a major highlight of the Crane concert season.

The holiday concert tradition began in the 1930s at what was then the Crane Institute of Music at Potsdam Normal School, and has continued to grow in prominence.

This year, the concert will feature the world premiere of “Laude!” by Crane School of Music Professor Dr. Gregory Wanamaker, featuring lyrics by Garth Bardsley.

“Our new work ‘Laude!’ marries the ancient and the modern. Gregory's music reaches across the centuries and makes vital the chants of medieval Italy, cleverly and subtly weaving them into his own inimitable sound world,” Bardsley said. “I hope that my poems reflect the beauty of the original verses, whilst breathing new life into their meanings, so to resonate with and make relevant to, a wider and younger audience.”

The 2016 Crane Candlelight Concerts will open with “Alleluia, Venite Gaudete,” by Gary Fry, who also composed a new work for the Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra in honor of SUNY Potsdam’s bicentennial. That piece premiered in Carnegie Hall last spring.

Also on the program are chorus and orchestra favorites, including Gabriel Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine” and Mack Wilberg’s “Lo, How a Rose” and “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The Crane Symphony Orchestra will be featured, performing excerpts from Humperdinck’s opera, “Hansel and Gretel.” The Crane Chorus will perform several exciting works, including one with North Country accordionist Nancy Hull, and another with soprano Deborah Massell.

A traditional highlight of the Crane Candlelight Concerts is audience participation. Guests will be invited to sing along for two numbers, “The First Noel” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

SUNY Potsdam and The Crane School of Music invite you to join us for this family-friendly event. While both concerts are free, audience members are invited to bring a donation of canned goods or non-perishable items to benefit area food pantries.

Want to experience past performances as well? WPBS Digital Television has once again syndicated past Crane Candlelight Concerts to present throughout the U.S. and Canada this holiday season.

In the North Country, WPBS TV, which produces the syndicated broadcasts, will present the 2015 Crane Candlelight Concert, “Brightest and Best,” through four broadcasts in December.

The WPBS broadcast schedule is as follows:

  • Monday, Dec. 12 at 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 24 at 11 p.m.
  • Sunday, Dec. 25 at 5:30 p.m.

To see past Crane Candlelight Concerts online, visit

The Crane Candlelight Concert evening performance will also be broadcast live on The Crane School of Music YouTube channel, at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. To watch these and other Crane concerts live online, visit

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.

For Media Inquiries

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, College Communications (315) 267-2114