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Monday, December 24, 2012


This year my Pre-Christmas Holiday activities began and ended with music.  As I posted earlier, the time began with a wonderful Advent Vespers concert, and now it has ended with a concert by my favorite music group in the Twin Cities - The Rose Ensemble.

Shortly after moving to Minneapolis I discovered The Rose Ensemble and have been a huge fan ever since.  My first experience of them was at their Candlelight Concert held each year at the Basilica of St. Mary.  That one concert was all it took.  I was hooked.

Under the direction of Jordan Sramek, the group has gained international acclaim and has just returned from an international chorale competition in Tolosa, Spain, where they took first prize in both the sacred and secular music categories.  It should be noted that only 16 chorale groups world wide were invited to attend this competition, and The Rose Ensemble was the only group invited from the United States.

The Rose Ensemble

This year’s Holiday concert featured festive music from Colonial Latin America which was a melting pot in terms of the diversity of musical influences.  The concert brought the sounds of local street dances together with African and Indigenous rhythms, while also adding a bit of the sacred pageantry of the Franciscan missions.  The result was glorious, and its musical strands echoed throughout the Basilica.  It was an incredible evening.

The Rose Ensemble's Holiday Concert was held at the Basilica of St. Mary.  This was the first church elevated to Basilica status in the United States.

If you’ve been to The Rose Ensemble’s performances in the past, you will understand my love for this group.  If You haven’t, as of yet, had the opportunity to hear them, I highly recommend that you check them out - hint: their next Candlelight Concert is coming up in February (more information is available on their website

For me, this weekend’s performance by The Rose Ensemble was the perfect way to enter into the Christmas weekend.  

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