Christmas at Dakota Wesleyan to combine old, new for program’s largest concert

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Christmas at Dakota Wesleyan graphic of an angel

The Ron and Sheilah Gates Department of Music will present “Hallelujah! Christmas at Dakota Wesleyan” the first weekend in December.

The performances will be at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, and 4 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3, in the DWU Sherman Center. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased online here, or by calling 605-995-2603.

A wide variety of Christmas music – both traditional and multicultural, from familiar carols to more modern arrangements – will be performed by the Dakota Wesleyan Choir, Wesleyan Band, LyricWood Orchestra, Highlanders, Women’s Chamber Choir, The Singing Scotchmen, and the Mitchell Area Children’s Choir.

The Dakota Wesleyan Choir will perform several familiar pieces but as new-age or old-world versions, such as an 1833 version of “The First Noel” in which the audience will notice the familiar melody through the violin solo by Elizabeth Soladay, director of the LyricWood Orchestra and instructor at DWU.

The choir will also perform a version of “Veni, Veni Emmanuel” with percussions by DWU instructors Soladay, Erin Desmond and Bethany Amundson. Other selections include: “Gospel Magnificat,” a gospel version of Mary’s hymn of praise, which includes a solo by DWU senior Rachael Kriz, of Geddes; and “Bashana Haba’ah,” a Hebrew New Year’s song, which wishes for peace in the coming year.  There will also be classics to sing along to, such as “O, Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Away in a Manger.”

The Wesleyan Band and LyricWood Orchestra have many pieces planned, as well as performing along with the choir.

“The orchestra is capitalizing on how big of a hit the rock orchestra was last year and is performing Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s ‘A Mad Russian’s Christmas’ this year,” said Bethany Amundson, DWU’s director of bands.

In addition to the rock-orchestra performance, the Wesleyan Band will also perform Mannheim Steamroller’s “Fum, Fum, Fum!” and LyricWood Orchestra will perform Mannheim Steamroller’s “Stille Nacht (Silent Night).”

“It’s a mix of traditional and contemporary,” Amundson said. “Our Christmas concert is always one I really look forward to, especially the Saturday night performance, with it being dark outside with the beautiful lights – the ambiance really feels like Christmas. I think we have a concert set that will really welcome people into the holiday season.”

The concert will conclude with “See, Amid a Winter’s Snow,” also known as “Hymn for Christmas Day,” which will include the Dakota Wesleyan Choir and LyricWood Orchestra.

Coming Up:

DWU’s “Service of Lessons and Carols,” will be at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 8, at First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, and at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9, at Geddes United Methodist Church. These concerts will feature Christmas hymns and Scripture readings and are free and open to the public.