A Baylor Christmas brings “Peace on Earth” in its 59th year

"A Baylor Christmas" is an annual event showcasing the student musical groups, both choral and instrumental. Liesje Powers | Multimedia Editor

By Brooke Hill | News Editor

“A Baylor Christmas” is the concert put on by the School of Music each year and helps mark the beginning of the Christmas season at Baylor.

Preparation for the show begins in the spring and summer prior to the show performance, adding up for a grand total of 9-10 months of advance planning, according to Dr. Lynne Gackle, director of choral activities and of “A Baylor Christmas.” Meetings with television stations that wish to air the performance begin about a year in advance, she said.

Gackle said this show is especially unique for the School of Music because it brings together different musical groups to unite their talents in celebration of the holiday season.

“There is a feeling of camaraderie among the singers,” Gackle said. “Since our choral and orchestra program is comprised of both music majors and non-majors, this is a wonderful experience of music making at a very special time of year. The sound of over 350 voices and a full symphony orchestra is awesome and to be a part of that experience is truly memorable. For many students, this is a highlight of their Baylor experience.”

Jill Gusukuma, administrative associate for the School of Music, echoed these thoughts, saying that this concert gives students a chance to collaborate on more difficult pieces.

“It also offers an opportunity for all of our choirs to experience some unique choral literature that isn’t performed as easily by only one ensemble, and offers many students one of the most profound music experiences they’ll ever have,” Gusukuma said.

Gackle said the theme for this year’s show is “Peace on Earth.” In addition to the full 82-piece orchestra and the ‘surround-sound’ created by over 350 singers, there will be a jazz combo, handbells and bagpipers.

“The lighting is breath-taking and Jones Hall is transformed into a Winter Wonderland all under the coordination of Laura Hendrix with Baylor Events,” Gackle said.

Gackle said the concert is special because it gives Baylor an opportunity to share the “good news.”

“It’s about the beauty, the mystery and the gift of Christmas. As a Christian University, it is our opportunity to share the ‘Good News’ to not only our community but through over 35 television markets nationally. Ultimately, the performance will be put on YouTube for review by thousands more for years to come,” Gackle said.

Part of what makes the show so special is its timeless, according to Gusukuma.

“‘A Baylor Christmas’ also showcases a beautiful balance of important musical tradition and creative, new compositions. We enjoy engaging our audience in timeless Christmas literature and introducing them to new favorites,” Gusukuma said.

Tickets to this year’s performances sold out within the first 10 minutes of being on-sale. This year’s performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.

This will be the 59th year of “A Baylor Christmas,” as it will celebrate its Jubilee Anniversary next year with its 60th show.

The list of TV airings is as follows:

KWTX, Channel 10, Waco/Temple/Killeen
Monday, December 24 – 10:35 pm
Tuesday, December 25 – 6:00 am
Tuesday, December 25 – 3:00 pm

CW12, Waco/Temple/Killeen
Monday, December 24 – 4:00 pm
Tuesday, December 25 – 7:00 am
Tuesday, December 25 – 2:00 pm
Tuesday, December 25 – 9:00 pm

KBTX, Bryan/College Station, TX
CW8, Bryan/College Station, TX
WYMT, Hazzard, KY
KNOE, Monroe, LA
WTVY, Dothan, AL
WTOK, Meridian, MS
WTAP, Parkersburg, WV
WSAW, Wausau, WI
KGNS, Laredo, TX
KOSA, Odessa, TX
KALB, Alexandria, LA
WEAU, La Cross, WI
KCWY, Casper, WY
KXII, Sherman, TX
WITN, Greenville, NC
KYTV, Springfield, MO
WJHG, Panama City, FL
WHSV, Harrisburg, VA
WRDW, Augusta, GA
WBKO, Bowling Green, KY
WDBJ, Roanoke, VA
KCRG, Cedar Rapids, IA
KBTX, College Station, TX
KWTX, Waco, TX
KVLY, Fargo, ND
KSNB, Hastings, NB
KNOP, North Platte, NB
KGNS, Laredo, TX
WSAZ, Charleston-Huntington, WV
WIBW, Topeka, KA
KKTV, Colorado Springs, CO
KLTV, Tyler, TX

KGWN, Cheyenne, WY