Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Hark, Hear the Bells: WT Orchestra’s Annual Christmas Concert Set for Dec. 3


CANYON, Texas — Joyous carols will ring out at the West Texas A&M University Symphony Orchestra’s annual holiday concert.

“I Heard the Bells! Music of the Christmas Season,” in conjunction with the WT Choirs, will be performed at 4 and 7 p.m. Dec. 3 in Mary Moody Northen Recital Hall on WT’s Canyon campus.

Admission is free, but tickets are required.

“From timeless carols to contemporary favorites, experience the spirit of the season through the magic of music,” said Dr. Mark Bartley, director of orchestral activities, the Lilith Brainard Professor of Music and associate dean for music in the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities. “Bring your loved ones and immerse yourself in the festive ambiance, where the twinkling lights, joyful tunes, and—yes—the bells create a perfect harmony of Christmas magic.”

Angela Allen, WT’s director for engaged citizenship, will narrate Mack Wilberg’s “Longfellow’s Christmas.”

“We’re delighted to collaborate with Angela for the first time,” Bartley said. “Her authoritative voice brings the tale of how Henry Wadsworth Longfellow came to write his 1863 poem ‘I Heard the Bells’ to life. That origin story is the centerpiece of our rendering of the beloved carol based on it.”

The WT Harp Studio—directed by Dr. Jenny Miller, WT instructor of harp—will welcome the audiences with prelude music.

Also performing are the Palo Duro High School Chorale and Chamber Singers, under the direction of Mark Bailey.

The WT Choirs— under the direction of Dr. Sean Pullen, professor of music and director of choral activities for the School of Music—will perform Pullen’s arrangements of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O, Happy Day!”

Also on the concert bill are compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Matt Riley, Ēriks Ešenvalds and more, including “Silent Night,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Russian Christmas Music” and more.

Those who can’t attend in person can still see “Music of the Christmas Season” when it airs 8 p.m. Dec. 22 and 10 p.m. Dec. 24 on Panhandle PBS.

A roster of orchestra and choir members is attached.

“Music of the Christmas Season” is one of several holiday activities on tap at WT and in Canyon in coming days.

President Walter V. and Mary Wendler’s annual Christmas reception and the Festival of Lights are set for 4 and 6 p.m. Nov. 29, respectively.

Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum’s Christmas Open House will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2, and Canyon Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas in Canyon events will kick off at 4 p.m. Dec. 2, including the Parade of Lights at 6:30 p.m. around the downtown square, followed by the lighting of the Canyon Christmas tree and fireworks.

Other upcoming holiday programming will include WT Opera’s performances of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex Recital Hall, and the WT Chamber Singers’ Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Northen Recital Hall. Tickets are $10 for “Amahl” and free for the Chamber Singers.

Fostering an appreciation for the arts and a strong relationship with the community are critical aspects of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised more than $150 million.

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