By Seth Jones | Reporter
The Baylor School of Music will do its part to kick off the holiday season this week with its Christmas concert, “A Baylor Christmas.” The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday in Jones Concert Hall.
Over 450 students will perform Christmas songs during the concert. Performers include the various choirs on Baylor’s campus, such as Bella Voce, the a cappella choir, the men’s and women’s choirs and the concert choir, as well as an orchestra composed of 80 students.
Stephen Heyde, the director of orchestral activities at Baylor, will conduct the Baylor Symphony Orchestra for the concert. He said the students have done a great job preparing for the production.
“I’m extremely proud of the students. They work very, very hard and really with a wonderful spirit,” Heyde said. “This is the university’s orchestra, and it’s really … emblematic of the recruiting and the spectacular teaching that the instrumental faculty do here at Baylor.”
Heyde is satisfied with Baylor putting on a show in the name of Christ and giving people a way to celebrate that stays true to what Christmas is really about.
“From a more Christian perspective, it’s the greatest occasion, the birth of Christ. It needs to be celebrated with great enthusiasm and with great excellence,” Heyde said. “People want to celebrate Christmas music, and they especially value when it’s done as well as we can do it here in the School of Music.”
Stephen Gusukuma, a lecturer in choral music at Baylor, will conduct the women’s choir for the concert and has been involved in the process of getting the choirs ready.
Tickets for the event went on sale in early November, and Gusukuma said the tickets for both nights sold out in 15 minutes.
“[The concert] is a great way to kind of usher in the Christmas season,” Gusukuma said. “I think for [the students] … it really makes the Christmas season. It is so much fun for students to collaborate with each other. Everyone kind of lobbies to play this concert because it’s so fun to play.”
Although there are no tickets available for purchase, people will still be able to see the event on television later this month. Local television station in Waco, KWTX News 10, CW-12, a television station in College Station and television stations across multiple markets ranging from Alaska to Maine will be airing the concert on Dec. 20, Christmas Eve and Christmas day.
For those who were unable to purchase tickets this year, Gusumuka encouraged the Baylor community to look forward to the production next year, or at least watch it once while at Baylor.
“If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience what this concert is, then I would say make it a priority to … attend or take part in one of these concerts,” Gusumuka said.