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Experience musical magic at DSU holiday concert

An eclectic assortment of musical selections chosen to heighten the spirit of the season awaits listeners who attend the Dickinson State University Holiday Concert. The performance is 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15,  in Dorothy Stickney Auditorium.

The DSU Chorale, Chamber Jazz, Chamber Singers, Chamber Winds and Choral Union will perform, as well as guest soloist Leah Knight.

Bruce Southard, director of choral activities and chair of the Department of Music, is eager to share the talents of his students with the public.

“The students have really stepped it up and are doing great this year,” he said, adding attendees can expect to find selections that suit many musical tastes, from the traditional to the whimsical.

Some of the selections were based on historical events, including “A Ceremony of Carols” by English composer, conductor and pianist Benjamin Britten, who played a principal role in 20th Century classical music. Britten was born 100 years ago this November.

Another musical icon whose work will be celebrated is jazz great Dave Brubek, who died this year. The combined choirs will perform part of Brubeck’s “Gloria,” and the Chamber Singers will perform his arrangement of “We Three Kings.”

The concert also will provide an array of musical styles, both light-hearted and traditional, by composers ranging from Irving Berlin to Johann Sebastian Bach.

Southard is happy to welcome graduate Leah Knight back to the DSU stage as a guest soloist.

Knight graduated summa cum laude from DSU in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and was honored with the Outstanding Graduate award.

Knight lives in Fargo, where she is director of choral activities at Master’s Baptist College. She recently debuted with the Fargo-Moorhead Opera Company as Barbarina in their production of “The Marriage of Figaro,” and performs as a concert soloist throughout the Upper Midwest.

In addition, Knight maintains a private music studio.

“I am excited to have her back,” Southard said. “Leah is one of those students that makes teaching a joy. She worked hard and never settled for just getting by. Her grades reflected that. Her performances reflected that. Her future is whatever she wants to make it.”

Knight said she is delighted to be returning to her alma mater for the Holiday Concert, adding that she is especially pleased with the pieces that will be performed.

“I am thrilled with the musical selections that Dr. Southard has chosen for this concert, my favorite being “A Ceremony of Carols” by Britten,” she said.

“It will be like old times. There is nothing I would rather do than celebrate the holiday season as a proud Blue Hawk.”

General admission tickets cost $5 and may be purchased at the door. Advance tickets are available at the DSU Department of Music office in May Hall or at the Student Development office in the Student Center.