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UW Gala Holiday Concert ‘A Cowboy Christmas’ Dec. 12-13

December 8, 2015

The popular University of Wyoming Gala Holiday Concert “A Cowboy Christmas,” narrated by Pete Simpson, is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall.

Tickets cost $10 for the public; $7 for senior citizens and UW faculty and staff; and $6 for students. Tickets are available at the Performing Arts box office and the Wyoming Union information desk, by calling (307) 766-6666 or going online at

The concert will intermingle carols with bluegrass, featuring performances from Bel Canto, Civic Chorus, Singing Statesmen, UW Symphony Orchestra (UWSO) and Wind Symphony. The Wind Symphony will provide processional music when the choirs enter singing the medieval chant “Personent Hodie.”

Bel Canto will sing movements from Persichetti's “Winter Cantata,” and the Civic Chorus will sing a movement from Rachmaninov’s “All Night Vigil” and an arrangement of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

The Statesmen will perform “Christmas for Cowboys,” a John Denver song that highlights the simplicity of the cowboy life at Christmas time. They also will perform the traditional carol “Deck the Halls,” but in an irregular meter reminiscent of the swagger and gait of a cowboy.

The UWSO will perform “A Holiday Hoedown,” written for Garrison Keillor’s 1992 Christmas special with the National Symphony. UWSO also will play “The Eighth Candle, a Prayer and Dance for Hanukkah,” a new work that is part solemn prayer and part celebratory dance for the last day of Hanukkah.

The Wind Symphony has a brand new arrangement, titled “A Cowboy Christmas,” featuring the popular carols “Angels We Have Heard Around the Campfire,” “O Come, All Ye Cowhands,” “Go Tell It on Medicine Bow Mountain” and “God Rest Ye Merry Cowboys.”

As a grand finale, the UWSO and combined choirs will offer world premieres of two new arrangements by Robert Wendel, a staff arranger for Radio City Music Hall.

First, “Still, Still, Still” uses just the treble voices of the choirs and the higher instruments of the orchestra in an ethereal version of this carol. Then, all the musicians will unite for “Wonderland of Snow,” an arrangement combining “Winter Wonderland,” “Let it Snow,” “Waltz of the Snowflakes” and “Frosty the Snowman.”

Before the concerts and during intermission, jazz pianist Dylan Hollis and the UW Happy Jacks will perform in the lobby. As a postlude, organist Punch Williamson will perform his traditional holiday organ suite for the departing audience.

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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-2929


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