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UW Gala Holiday Concert Dec. 10-11: ‘A Kid’s Christmas’

December 6, 2016
woman conduction large chorus of men
The Singing Statesmen are among performers of the UW Symphony Orchestra’s Gala Holiday Concerts Dec. 10-11 in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. (UW Photo)

The University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra’s Gala Holiday Concert will have a youthful flavor this year, with a theme of “A Kid’s Christmas,” with a good portion of the concert aimed at children of all ages.

The performances, featuring Bel Canto Singers, Civic Chorus, Pan Band, Singing Statesmen, UW Symphony Orchestra (UWSO) and Wind Symphony, will be Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m. Both concerts will be in the Buchanan Center for the Performing Arts concert hall. Retired UW President Tom Buchanan will return to the building named after him as the concert’s narrator.

Tickets cost $10 for the public, $7 for senior citizens and $6 for students. For tickets, call (307) 766-6666, visit the Performing Arts box office and Wyoming Union information desk, or go online at

“The term ‘kid’ has no age limit, and the holidays hopefully bring out the kids in all of us,” UWSO Director Michael Griffith says.

With the popularity at any age of spy movies -- from “The Incredibles” to James Bond -- the UW Wind Symphony will present “Secret Agent Santa,” quoting “We Three Kings,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” and “Good King Wenceslas,” overlying recognizable “spy movie motives.”

“Many children spend Christmas Eve eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa and Christmas morning opening gifts,” Griffith says. He notes that “Lullaby for a King,” “Noel” and the prelude to Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Hansel and Gretel,” and the “March of the Toys” from “Babes in Toyland” round out the children’s theme.

Griffith says not all the music for the program is aimed at children. The concert will open with the medieval chant “Personent Hodie,” with the Wind Symphony providing processional music when the choirs enter. The Civic Chorus will add music from Handel’s “Messiah,” and the UWSO will offer the “Merry Christmas Overture,” which combines Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro Overture” with recognizable holiday tunes.

In the grand finale, the UWSO and combined choirs will perform a British medley of traditional carols, featuring “A Christmas Carol Fantasy” by Paul Campbell.

Before the concerts, the UW Pan Band will present a concert-before-the-concert in the lobby. As a postlude, organist Punch Williamson will perform his traditional holiday organ suite for the departing audience.

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