The combined choral forces of Howard Payne University have come together to present “HPU Voices of Christmas.”
This is one of the many offerings Brown County residents can enjoy and is presented the evening of Monday, Dec. 2, as part of a slate of HPU activities called “An HPU Family Christmas.”
The Voices of Christmas concert is at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Brownwood.
“Some of us in the choir call this specific concert ‘Christmas Magic,’” Dr. Chris Rosborough, conductor of the Voices of Christmas choir and HPU faculty member, said via email. Rosborough is assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at HPU.
“It is that special, unspeakable warmth that you receive when your favorite carol is sung, flooding memories of song, family and Christmas seasons of yore,” Rosborough said.
The Voices of Christmas choir consists of the HPU Concert Choir and the University Singers, which is comprised of college and community singers.
One of the most exciting elements of the evening will be the addition of a children’s choir amassed from East and Northwest elementary schools, Rosborough said.
“As the conductor of this ensemble, I have been looking forward all semester to this concert,” Rosborough said. “There is something very special about seeing the collective of all of my choristers present a program together, in a body of music that is so vast and rewarding.”
For the past couple of years, the choir has presented the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah.
“This year I wanted to offer something special that would not negate that seasonal and musical tradition,” Rosborough said.
“We will include a bit of baroque music from Vivaldi and Handel, a selection by Gustav Holst that is near and dear to me. As for the carols — let’s just say that my Christmas season can’t begin until singing that final verse of David Willcocks’ ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.’”
Rosborough said the choir’s additional heart-warming arrangements will please a wide variety of listeners.
Guests will enjoy a full orchestra — comprised of area players and HPU faculty and students — and the audience will be invited to join in on several of the carols, Rosborough said.
“It was my goal in programming this concert to musically celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, while uniting our community in an evening of beautiful music and singing — ultimately providing a springboard for the Christmas season in Brown County and the surrounding areas,” Rosborough said. “I truly hope you will join us for ‘HPU Voices of Christmas.’”
At 8:15 p.m., the festivities will move across the street to HPU’s Old Main Park and Muse Mall for the university’s traditional lighting of campus decorations and singing of Christmas carols. HPU President Dr. Cory Hines will read the biblical account of Jesus’ birth from the book of Luke.
The event will conclude with a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will be available for photos.
The evening was planned as an opportunity to bring HPU personnel and students together with the university’s neighbors in Brownwood, Early and the surrounding communities, HPU said in an earlier press release.