Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sleigh bells ring, carolers sing

PLU Christmas concerts stretch from Seattle to Portland

 By Rachel Diebel, A&E Reporter

Pacific Lutheran University’s choirs and orchestra are preparing for their crowning event of the academic year: Christmas concerts. 

Every year, PLU’s top two choirs, Choir of the West and University Chorale — along with the orchestra — perform a series of Christmas concerts.

Venues vary from Lagerquist Hall on campus to Benaroya Concert Hall in Seattle and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, Ore.  This year’s show is entitled “A PLU Christmas: A Child is Born.”

“Out of all the concerts, Christmas is its own beast,” Choir of the West junior Taylor Capellaro said, but it is also a “beautiful work of art,” and the audience should be “excited” for the experience.

“It’s a lot of stress but so worth it.  It’s truly an experience for everyone involved,” Capellaro said.

Sophomore Sydney Freyer, a cellist in the orchestra, agreed that juggling the Christmas concerts and school can be “kind of hard, because you miss a lot of classes.”

Freyer said she emails her professors to explain, and “they’re usually really nice about it.”

Typically, the Christmas concerts combine traditional Christmas music and a debut number written by a member of the staff.

This year, Professor David Deacon-Joyner is premiering an original piece entitled “Unto Us.”  The piece is written in five movements and tells different parts of the Christmas story in music.

The choir and orchestra will be performing “The Many Moods of Christmas” together, as well as a wide assortment of songs on their own.

For the students involved, the stress is worth it for the fun of touring.  Freyer said the best part of touring is that “you go with friends. It’s so much fun to take the concert other places with your friends.”

Capellaro said during tours it feels like they are “celebrities” and that “it’s truly remarkable to see how many people come out to see us.”

The popularity of PLU’s Christmas concerts is apparent in the ticket sales.

Tickets for the Lagerquist concerts sold out within hours of Nov. 1, the starting sale date.  According to the PLU calendar website, remaining tickets are sold on a “first come, first serve basis until all tickets are gone.”

“[The concerts] bring so many people together in music — the choirs, the orchestra — I can’t wait,” Capellaro said.