Whether you’re brimming over with the joy of the season or feeling like ole Ebenezer himself, Eastern Arizona College has just the thing for you.
The Festival of Carols: O Holy Night is Tuesday night. For the last 30 years the Eastern Arizona College’s Division of Fine Arts has been hosting the event, which features the college’s choral and instrumental music departments, as well as many choir groups, including GilaSoul Singers, EVOlution, the show choir; Encore, the vocal jazz ensemble; Resonus, the tenor/bass choir and an A cappella choir.
“You can’t go to another concert and hear so many different ensembles,” said Director of Musical Theater Chase Moore.
Between the singers and those working behind the scenes, roughly 200 students will be involved in this year’s production, Moore said. Each ensemble, which have been rehearsing since early November, will perform two pieces.
At the beginning and the end of the show, the audience will be in for a treat when all of the students take to the stage to perform, Moore said.
While it’s always great fun to lead the crowd in the traditional singalong from his piano bench, Moore said he always looks forward to hearing the entire group perform, too.
“Honestly, my favorite part is the mass performance, just hearing the sheer power of our department is overwhelming in a good way,” Moore said. “There’s always that moment where you think ‘Wow! This is the music department we have at EAC and this is truly something to be excited about.’”
Lori Dugan, a college spokeswoman, said, “What makes this show the envy of other colleges is the level of collaboration that goes into this show. It’s rare to have an entire music department collaborate to bring a show to the stage.”
He just loves to see the happiness on the students’ faces while they perform, Moore said.
Although the audience can expect to hear traditional “secular and sacred” songs, the fine arts’ department always strives to change things up and keep things fresh, he said.
This year the 90-minute event will include students from the piano studio for the first time, Moore said.
In addition, Moore said there’s been a “surge” of new holiday music over the last couple of years.
“This is truly a musical variety holiday concert,” he said.
Everyone involved has spent several hours in rehearsals, but it’s all worth it, Moore said.
“It’s kind of our Christmas gift to the community, we’ll be ringing in the season,” Moore said. “It’s a lot of work, but I’m so happy to do it. This is a time for our students to shine in their ensembles, but also together.”