WT to host annual, free holiday concert

By Chip Chandler

Holiday music will be sweetly sung (and played) over the plains at a pair of upcoming Christmas performances from the West Texas A&M University School of Music.

Up first: the WT Chamber Singers’ Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall.

This intimate performance will feature music from the Renaissance and Classic eras, said conductor Dr. Sean Pullen, associate professor of music and director of choral activities.

“The audience will enjoy some modern, creative and jazzy arrangements of some classic Christmas tunes,” Pullen said.

Then, the next day, “Music of the Christmas Season” will feature the WT Symphony Orchestra, WT choirs and the Canyon High School Chamber Choir. Performances are scheduled for 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 5 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall. Admission is free, but tickets are required. The 4 p.m. concert is already sold out.

“Our holiday concerts are a favorite tradition on campus and with the community at large, and tickets always go fast,” said Dr. Mark Bartley, director of orchestral activities, the Lilith Brainard Professor of Music and associate director of the School of Music.

Those who can’t attend in person can still see “Music of the Christmas Season” when it airs 7 p.m. Dec. 21, midnight Dec. 23, 8 p.m. Dec. 24 and 1 a.m. Dec. 26 on Panhandle PBS.

In addition to Bartley, conductors are Pullen and Brandon Farren of Canyon High.

An array of classical and traditional works will delight audiences, including “Welcome Yule!,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Christmas Fantasy” by Dan Goeller and “Hark!” by Felix Mendelssohn, arranged and orchestrated by Dr. B.J. Brooks, WT professor of theory and composition.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Veni sancta spiritus” will feature soloists Shannon Kathleen Burr, graduate music performance student from Harrisburg, Pa.; McKenna Cooper, sophomore general studies major from Midlothian; Francesco DiLello, graduate music performance student from Highland Mill, N.Y.; and Conner Nall, junior music major from Canyon.

Soloist Rossitza Goza, WT’s Harrington Lecturer in Violin, will be featured on “Meditation” from “Thaïs” by Jules Massenet. The Canyon High Chamber Choir and WT choirs will join the orchestra for Taylor Scott Davis’s “Magnificat,” featuring soloist Eleisha Miller, senior music major from Amarillo. Davis will be in residence for the preparation and performances as part of the WT Guest Artist Series.

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