Experience musical magic at DSU Holiday Concert

Shanna Shervheim, interim associate director of communications, (701) 483-2595

Musical magic awaits listeners at the Dickinson State University Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. in Dorothy Stickney Auditorium, May Hall.

The DSU Chorale, Chamber Jazz, Chamber Singers, Chamber Winds and Choral Union will all perform, as well as guest soloist Leah Grace Knight.

Dr. Bruce Southard, director of choral activities and chair of the Department of Music, said the concert will offer an eclectic mix of musical pieces ranging from the traditional to the whimsical.

“Some of the selections were based on historical events,” Southard said, including “A Ceremony of Carols” by English composer, conductor, and pianist Benjamin Britten, who played a principal role in 20th Century classical music. Britten was born 100 years ago this November.

Another musical icon whose work will be celebrated is jazz great Dave Brubek who died this year. The combined choirs will perform part of Brubeck’s “Gloria,” and the Chamber Singers will perform his arrangement of “We Three Kings.”

In addition to these pieces, the concert will feature an array of musical styles by composers ranging from Irving Berlin to Johann Sebastian Bach.

Southard is especially happy to welcome graduate Leah Grace Knight back to the DSU stage as a guest soloist. Knight graduated summa cum laude from DSU in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal performance and was honored by the university with the Outstanding Graduate award. She currently lives in Fargo, N.D., where she serves as director of choral activities at Master’s Baptist College. She recently debuted with the Fargo Moorhead Opera Company as Barbarina in their production of “The Marriage of Figaro,” and performs as a concert soloist throughout the Upper Midwest. In addition, Knight maintains a thriving private music studio.

“I am excited to have her back,” Southard said. “Leah is one of those students that makes teaching a joy. She worked hard and never settled for just getting by. Her grades reflected that. Her performances reflected that. Her future is whatever she wants to make it.”

Knight said she is delighted to be returning to her alma mater for the Holiday Concert, adding that she is especially pleased with the pieces that will be performed.  

“I am thrilled with the musical selections that Dr. Southard has chosen for this concert, my favorite being “A Ceremony of Carols” by Britten,” she said.

“It will be like old times. There is nothing I would rather do than celebrate the holiday season as a proud Blue Hawk.”

General admission tickets cost $5 and may be purchased at the door. Advance tickets are available at the DSU Department of Music office in May Hall or at the Student Development office in the Student Center.