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Release: Immediate

NOTE TO EDITORS: Kevin Kriegel, the director of the Old Gold Singers, may be contacted at (319) 335-2548.

Holiday favorites--local choirs, Santa--share stage Dec. 5-6

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Familiar holiday songs, Santa Claus and hot chocolate will all be part of the show when the University of Iowa Old Gold Singers present their annual holiday spectacle, "Cocoa and Carols," at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

An ensemble of the UI School of Music, the Old Gold Singers will be led by their new director, UI graduate assistant Kevin Kriegel. The group consists of 28 singers, plus a seven-member instrumental combo.

"Cocoa and Carols" is traditionally one of the most popular holiday events for area audiences. The program features holiday favorites, including well-known Christmas carols, and a perennial favorite, a "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" sing-along.

Appearing on the program with the Old Gold Singers this year will be the Iowa City Sweet Adelines directed by Beverly Hamilton, the Iowa City Old Capitol Chorus directed by Larry Knipfer, and the Iowa City Girls' Chorus, directed by Vicki Arnold and Ann Berry. Each group will perform a set of their own, and they will appear in a combined performance of "O Holy Night" near the end of the concert.

Other music on the program will include an opening sequence around the theme that "Christmas is the Best Time of the Year," a group of songs about children at Christmas and a group of songs about Christmas for celebrities. Popular holiday favorites on the program will include "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Go Tell it on the Mountain" and "The Little Drummer Boy."

Choreography for this year's "Cocoa and Carols" performance has been created by Old Gold Singers alumna Amanda Sprague, as well as current members of the group.

As is traditional for "Cocoa and Carols," Santa Claus will be a guest star and hot cocoa will be served to guests in the lobby after performances.

The Old Gold singers are a select musical group whose members are chosen by audition. In addition to "Cocoa and Carols," their campus performances include the annual "Fall Festival" and "Swing Into Spring" concerts. The group also travels throughout Iowa, performing for schools and community groups. Past tours outside the state have taken them to New York, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas.

A native of Brooklyn, Iowa, Kriegel has a degree in music education from Central College in Pella and a master's in choral conducting from the UI. He has taught public school music in Iowa for four years. Having been a singer/dancer for the 1989 Iowa State Fair Singers, Kriegel has directed and choreographed show choirs and directed school and community musical productions, including "Guys and Dolls," "Li'l Abner," "The Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Oklahoma." He is a doctoral student in choral conducting at the UI School of Music.

"Cocoa and Carols" tickets are $9.50 general admission ($6.50 for UI students, seniors and youth), and are available from the Hancher Auditorium box office. Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at