NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The combined choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University, along with the Orchestra of the Pines, will present SFA's traditional holiday concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the university campus.

A highly anticipated holiday event, the concert will feature the choirs - A Cappella, Choral Union and Women's Choir - and orchestra performing Act 1 - often referred to as the "Christmas portion" - of George Frideric Handel's "Messiah," according to Tim King, director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music and director of the performance.

"Since the early '80s, the community has been treated to various productions of the 'Christmas portion,' or Act 1, of 'Messiah,'" King said. "Nacogdoches has come to expect it and has eagerly supported the performance as part of their family's Christmas tradition."

In recent years, the holiday performance has featured student soloists. This year's list includes Megan Bennett, Pearland senior; Blake Bridges, Grandbury junior; Justin Dunkle, Wheaton graduate student; Juan Garza, El Paso sophomore; Brenton Mattox, Dayton graduate student; Kelly McAdams, Lufkin junior; Julie Moore, Tyler junior; Reagan Myers, Livingston junior; Rachel Nelson, Rowlett junior; Zach Newman, Baytown senior; Kelsey Quinn, San Antonio senior; Anthony Rodriquez, Houston freshman; Jacqueline Skinner, Cleveland senior; Akeilah Thomas, Lancaster graduate student.

"Almost everyone will recognize all of the songs, for they are played on radio recordings throughout the Christmas season," King said. "But a few of the big choruses are 'And the Glory (of the Lord),' 'For Unto Us a Child is Born' and 'Hallelujah Chorus.'"

The concert is a joint presentation of the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Music. Turner Auditorium is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit