The sound of beautiful horns, the hammering of drums and the plucking of strings filled DePauw’s Kresge Auditorium Saturday and Sunday when the DePauw School of Music hosted their fourth annual Holiday Gala, bringing in the festivities of the holidays.
Members of the DePauw University Chorus, Chamber Singers, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra and Band had been practicing for weeks to perfect the sound of Christmas.
The free event hosted a number of family, friends and faculty, packing the auditorium full of listening ears. DePauw students were eager to support their fellow classmates as well as enjoy the holiday cheer. Rachael Higson especially loved the show.
“I enjoyed the Gala, and it put me into the Christmas spirit,” she said, talking through smiling teeth. “It’s success paid tribute to all of the hard work that went into its production.”
Directed by Craig Paré, the event opened with the DePauw University Band playing the pieces “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Good King Wenceslas.” The band successfully opened the show with these classic holiday hits.
Men and women dressed in black suits and dresses filed out silently to take the stage. The auditorium lights were brightened to show the members of the DePauw University Chorus. Harmony filled the air as the singers began their performance.
Singing “Throw the Yule Log On Old Uncle John,” the crowd burst into laughter then quieted down to listen to “Guade Maria.” First-year Kim Lester was in top row of the chorus as she focused on following the conductor’s instructions.
“I wasn’t nervous to go on; I don’t think any of us were,” Lester said, still excited from just finishing the show. “I was just happy that so many people and students came out to support us.”
The Holiday Gala continued; act after act, a round of applause from spectators followed every performance.
The Saxophone Ensemble followed after the chorus, and the Percussion Ensemble after that. Professor Tony Weinstein took the stage to perform a piano solo, and Carla Edwards performed an organ piece later in the show.
DePauw University Chamber Singers took the stage with Dallas Gray as the soloist. The Cello Ensemble played pieces from “The Nutcracker Suite,” and the Flute Choir played a collection of French carols.
The show was an impressive collection of talent, Christmas music, and holiday joy. First-year Sam Short, drummer for the DePauw Jazz Ensemble, felt the show was more festive and fun than the musical.
“Performing at the Holiday Gala was so much fun,” Short said, “I didn’t feel like I was sitting at a drum set, more like I was sitting on Santa’s lap.”
Even the music professors joined in on the holiday spirit. Throwing handfuls of fake snow at one another on stage, Professors Coburn, Smith, Jennings, Linville and Hopson all sang the song “Snow.”
The Gala reached its conclusion and encouraged the audience to join in on the singing. Words were projected on the back wall as parents, students, professors, siblings and other spectators sang along to the DePauw University Orchestra and Choirs singing the holiday classic, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” while snow fell from the ceiling.