Celebrating the holiday season with music
On Saturday, December 8, the quieted auditorium was once again brought to life with a procession of elegantly clad singers as they began:
“On this day earth shall ring with the song children sing to the Lord, Christ our King, born on earth to save us; him the Father gave us.”
For more than 30 years, FSC’s Department of Music has brought the talents of their students together on one stage to share the musical joy of the holiday season with our campus and the Lakeland community.Attracting capacity crowds, FSC’s Christmas Gala brings together FSC’s jazz band, vocal chamber ensemble, College Chorale, Symphony Orchestra and student soloists to explore the music of the season in all its facets.
“Performance” is the key when it comes to studying music at Florida Southern’s Department of Music. “True learning for the music student comes only from actually performing,” says Associate Professor Paula K. Parsche, chair of the music department. “Our annual program of festive carols and seasonal music is the best showcase of the College’s tradition of musical excellence.”
Opening with Personent Hodie, a Latin Hymn from the 13th century, mixing in more contemporary selections such as a Ray Charles’ arrangement of Jingle Bells, and rounding out the show with an incredible a cappella rendition of an Old Spanish Christmas Carol, "Rui Ríu, Chíu" these exceptional musicians delighted their audience.
But the evening’s presentation wasn’t all serious. After the Concert Chorale, the 90-member symphonic orchestra, conducted by Arthur Pranno, took the stage to perform the novel Toy Symphony, a musical work written with parts for toy instruments. Joining in was special guest player President Kerr, who gave an inspired performance on the triangle!
"The students have worked hard to once again present a concert that is both heart-warming and entertaining,” said Professor Larry Sledge, director of the Concert Chorale “We hope you found yourself chuckling one moment and filled with Christmas joy the next."
As is tradition, the concert ended with a rousing sing-a-long of crowd-pleasing favorites such as Deck the Halls and Silent Night. “I’m so proud to include the annual Christmas Gala in the program line-up”, says Larry Burke, Director of the Festival of Fine Arts. “Not only is it a wonderful way to show off the talent and hard work of our extraordinary students, I always leave the concert with a renewed holiday spirit.”