Holiday Choir Concert Features Christmas Favorites


Illustrated by Kirk Lyttle

Members of the San Jacinto College community can enjoy a free concert on Dec. 7 filled with seasonal classics like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Joy to the World.’

The holidays are almost here. Christmas decorations are coming out of the closet, businesses are planning their holiday sales, and soon, traditional Christmas music will hit the radio waves. In the meantime, members of the San Jacinto College community can enjoy a live choir concert on Dec. 7 filled with holiday favorites like “O’ Holy Night,” “Silent Night,” and “Joy to the World.”

Central Campus College Choir and Chorale Director Dr. Patrick Callaghan said attendees can expect a packed performance featuring more than the known Christmas standards.

“To round out the concert,” he said, “we will sign a poignant setting of e.e. Cummings’ poem, ‘Since Feeling is First,’ by Joshua Chai, a beautiful arrangement of ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ by Abbie Betinis, and a lush setting of ‘O Magnum Mysterium’ by Ivo Antognini.”

Callaghan said he usually works with his performers twice a week “for roughly an hour and fifteen minutes,” leaving limited time for students to learn the music and work on their vocals. In turn, the choirs participate in mini-retreats scheduled throughout the semester.

“The mini-retreats are nightly get-togethers for the choir students at San Jacinto College where singing fundamentals and basic music learning occurs,” Callaghan said. “We often have little time to teach every student their notes during rehearsals, so this allows for everyone to have a little more attention when attempting to learn the music completely.”

Meanwhile, Callaghan noted, although there is no charge to attend the performance, the College Choir and Chorale encourage concert-goers to contribute foodstuffs in place of the cost of admission. 

“The concert is free. However, we are collecting canned and boxed foods for donations to local institutions in need,” he said. “Anything is most certainly appreciated.”

The Holiday Choir Choral Concert is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7 in Corbin Hall of the Monte Blue Music Building (C5) on the Central Campus.