Stephen F. Austin State University

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Christmas concert features SFA and Nacogdoches, Lufkin high school

December 1, 2009 - Sylvia Bierschenk

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - The combined choirs from Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches and Lufkin High Schools, and the SFA Music Preparatory Children's Choir will join with SFA's Orchestra of the Pines to present Ralph Vaughan Williams' Christmas cantata "Hodie" at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium.

"Hodie," which means "This Day," is one of the truly great masterworks of the 20th century, explained Tim King, director of choral activities at SFA and of the cantata. "It faithfully follows the Christmas story with texts of great poets such as Martin Luther, George Herbert, John Milton and William Drummond."

The School of Music's annual Christmas concert is one to which the entire community looks forward, King continued. "We often present Handel's 'Messiah,' and it will remain a staple in our Christmas concert repertoire. However, we also want to expose the community and our students to other great Christmas works. In regard to performing forces, 'Hodie' will be one of the largest works that we have yet to perform."

Soloists for the event will be SFA faculty members Debbie Berry, soprano; Bruce Fowler, tenor; and Scott LaGraff, bass.

At the conclusion of the hour-long cantata, the audience will be invited to participate in a sing-along of Christmas carols.

Prior to the performance, the SFA Madrigal Singers will be performing in the lobby.

"This is always a very well-attended concert," said Diane Flynn, SFA Fine Arts Box Office manager. "I recommend that patrons purchase their tickets in advance and allow plenty of time for parking. We will open the auditorium at 6:45 to accommodate the crowd."

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students. For tickets or more information, please visit www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. It is sponsored in part by Nacogdoches Medical Center.

W.M. Turner Auditorium is located in SFA's Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Dr.