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(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Nov. 12, 1999

Hancher gift shop will be open extra hours for holiday shopping

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Familiar holiday songs, Santa Claus and hot chocolate will all be part of the performance when the University of Iowa Gold Singers present their annual holiday spectacle, "Cocoa and Carols," at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5 in Hancher Auditorium on the UI campus.

The Old Gold Singers, an ensemble of the UI School of Music, is directed by 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.

The Sweet Adelines, a women’s chorus from Cedar Rapids directed by Beverly Hamilton, and the Iowa City Girls’ Choir, directed by Vicki Arnold and Ann Berry, will also perform sets in this year’s program. 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 the 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.

Kriegel, a native of Brooklyn, Iowa, has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Central College in Pella and a master’s degree in choral conducting from the UI. He has taught public school music in Iowa for four years. In 1989 he was a singer/dancer for the Iowa State Fair Singers. He has also directed and/or choreographed a number of school and community musical productions, including "Guys and Dolls," "Li’l Abner," "The Music Man," "Fiddler on the Roof," and "Oklahoma." Kriegel is currently 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, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. 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