A grand concert of Christmas favorites planned for Tuesday

December 08, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

By Janie Magruder
GCU News Bureau

About 150 student musicians will perform Christmas favorites, ranging from an overture by a German composer who founded the Vienna Philharmonic to a 20th-century conductor and winner of 14 Grammy Awards, at Grand Canyon University’s annual Christmas concert. The College of Fine Arts and Production’s Music Department will present the fifth annual “A Grand Canyon Christmas” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Southern Baptist Church of Phoenix, 3100 W. Camelback Road.

The concert will feature the Canyon Chorale, Canyon Choral Society, Critical Mass and Canyon Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Juan Hernandez, COFAP’s assistant dean, and Canyon Singers, directed by GCU vocal instructor Dr. Sheila Corley. Veteran musician Mark Fearey will accompany the groups on piano, organ and celeste, a keyboard instrument whose sound is perhaps most recognizable in “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” in “The Nutcracker.”

“This is a gift to the community,” said Hernandez, who anticipates a full house. “One of the great testaments we have to the Christian faith is music, and particularly Christmas music because it goes back to the beginning of the church in the third and fourth centuries. We will present the Christmas story from a historical perspective, with carols and a couple of fun pieces. Everyone will find something they like.”

Highlights include “The Many Moods of Christmas,” arranged by Shaw and Robert Russell Bennett, who was known for his orchestration of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, and N. Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Christmas Eve: Orchestral Suite,”  from the Russian composer’s four-act opera, “Christmas Eve.” The audience also will have the opportunity to hear favorites such as “Carol of the Bells,” “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” and “The 12 Days of Christmas,” among others.

Admission to the concert is free.

Contact Janie Magruder at [email protected] or 602-639-8018.

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