Christmas concert to be rebroadcast nationwide

Twin Cities Public Television will rebroadcast “A St. Thomas Christmas,” a one-hour holiday special produced at last year’s Christmas concert and distributed to public television stations nationwide during the holiday season. Local broadcasts on TPT Channel 2 are scheduled at 11 p.m. Christmas Eve and 5 a.m. Christmas Day.

The broadcast is made possible by a grant from Mary Agnes and Al McQuinn.

Because not all public television stations have finalized Christmas week programming decisions, the national broadcast schedule is subject to change; check your local listings, too.

Or, watch “A St. Thomas Christmas” anytime online: Streaming video is available on the St. Thomas Web site. A DVD of “A St. Thomas Christmas,” which includes bonus field interviews from the St. Thomas music program as well as concert footage, also is available, as are CDs of the 2008 and 2009 concerts.

To order, visit the UST Music Department Web site, print and complete the order form and return it with a check made payable to the University of St. Thomas. Mailing of the DVDs and CDs will begin in February.

St. Thomas hosted two performances of its 22nd annual Christmas concert, “ ’Tis Love That’s Born Tonight,” on Dec. 6, 2009, in Minneapolis’ renowned Orchestra Hall. The concert, with a program of choral and instrumental music for the Advent and Christmas seasons, featured nearly 300 student performers in eight of the university’s vocal and instrumental ensembles: Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Festival Choir, Liturgical Choir, Women’s Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir and Handbell Choir.

The concert opened with a procession of all the St. Thomas choirs leading the audience in David Willcocks’ arrangement of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” For the next 90 minutes, concert-goers were treated to the best in sacred music for the season, including traditional favorites such as “Silent Night” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and newer works, such as the rousing contemporary spiritual “Ask the Watchman,” by Midwestern composers Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory, and the elegant “Lux Aurumque” (Light of Gold), a demanding 2001 a cappella piece by 39-year-old Los Angeles composer Eric Whitacre.

All of the choirs and the university’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble concluded the concert with a triumphant rendition of “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” a final audience sing-along.