There are three major choirs at Texas A&M University: Singing Cadets, Women’s Chorus and Century Singers. All have different concerts and tours throughout the semester, but only once a year do they gather together as one big choir. It’s fitting that this spectacle can only be seen at the Holiday Spirit of Aggieland concert, this year on December 2 at 3:00 p.m. in Rudder Auditorium.
After the choirs and their small groups perform separately throughout most of the concert, they join together and make true magic. David Kipp, the Director of Choral Activities, says his favorite part of the holiday concert is when the choirs unite. “When the curtain goes up and you see all three choirs together, you hear an audible gasp from the crowd.” This year marks a special year, the 200-year anniversary of the composition of “Silent Night.” In celebration of this, the choirs will be singing this famous carol together, and will invite people to come on stage for this song and the Hallelujah Chorus that follows it.
“It is a very fast paced concert,” says Kipp. “There will be no breaks or intermission.” Each full choir will perform six to eight pieces separately and a small group from each choir will perform two to three pieces. Selections include well known classics such as “O Holy Night” and “Sleigh Ride,” as well as lesser known choral writings including “Al Hanissim,” which features a clarinet player, and a Christmas Cantata that will include brass instruments. There will be pieces from different cultures and religions for all to enjoy.
Preparing for this concert comes in the middle of a very busy time for all three choirs. “With the (Women’s Chorus and Century Singers) just having finished their Fall Concert and the Singing Cadets preparing for their Winter Tour, it has been very busy,” says Kipp. Each choir has four rehearsals per week. This time is used not only to prepare for the Holiday Concert but for other performances as well. Because of this, Kipp says it takes “a lot of outside preparation time.”
Travis Angel, Assistant Director of Choral Activities, explains why the choirs put so much time and effort into everything they do. “The goal of all three choirs is to perform well but have a great time doing it,” says Angel. Seeing as Texas A&M does not currently have a music program, no one in any of the choirs is a music major. All of the students are there because they find joy in singing together. “We are not tied to a fine arts program, so I am not teaching future choir directors,” says Angel. “We do this because we love to perform.”
Find your Christmas spirit with this amazing performance of holiday music. Tickets can be found on the TAMU box office website for $8. The price increases to $10 on December 2. Students will be allowed in for free with an ID.