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Performing Arts Spread Holiday Cheer

Vespers promo image
Christmas Vespers concert

Oklahoma City University’s performing arts colleges will enliven the holiday season with the “Home for the Holidays” dance spectacular and the Christmas Vespers concert in December. Tickets for the productions are available online at okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227.

“Home for the Holidays”

“Home for the Holidays” will bring holiday cheer to campus in the Kirkpatrick Auditorium at N.W. 24th Street and Blackwelder Ave. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Dec. 5, 6, 7, and 8, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Dec. 7. Tickets for the performances are $29 for reserved seats, or $18 each for groups of eight or more.

Under the direction of Jo Rowan, the dance spectacular will feature some favorite Christmas traditions with dynamic rhythms and explosive choreography. Toy Soldiers are brought to life with fast tapping feet and a very special guest, Tony the Pony, takes the audience for an unforgettable sleigh ride. The program will also include the debut of a singing and dancing chipmunk, Little Chip, who will delight kids with holiday cheer. The Starettes will perform new kicklines, and breathtaking contemporary ballet will feature intricate partnering. The swinging jive number will keep the audience on their toes, and much more.

“Home for the Holidays” has become an annual tradition for families across the state and beyond, as the vision of the company’s nationally recognized choreographers combines with the premier talent of the nation’s best dancers to create an experience fit for the lights of Broadway.

“Home for the Holidays is Christmas magic, a joyful season’s greeting to share with the entire family,” Rowan said. “There’s no need to buy a plane ticket to New York City — our performers are Broadway bound. Enjoy these future Broadway dancers while they are still performing in OKC! The show is as slick and fast-paced as anything you would see on the professional stage.”

Next year, senior Bond Bourquien might perform at Radio City, but this year she will be dancing in “Home for the Holidays” as a Starette. Bond said, “The Starettes are kicking off this holiday season with a precise, high energy number that includes iconic moves inspired by the Radio City Rockettes. It is such a treat to be able to work with professor Vincent Sandoval who was a performer and also an assistant director and choreographer for the Rockettes. Expect to see great style, poise and many eye-high kicks.”

Before the show ends, Rowen said a call for Peace on Earth is followed by a beautiful choral performance of “Silent Night” and a stunning, and imaginative nativity with Mary, Joseph, angels, and the pageant of the three kings to provide an uplifting and inspirational reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

Artists in the American Spirit Dance Company hail from OCU’s Ann Lacy School of American Dance & Entertainment, the nation’s premier musical theatre dance program. It has been ranked as the number-one BFA dance program in the nation by OnStage. This destination collegiate program has alumni credits in more than 86 Broadway musicals and has produced 50 Radio City Rockettes and counting.

Playbill ranked Oklahoma City University among this year’s Top 10 Most Represented Colleges on Broadway. OnStage noted, “In our opinion, no other college in the country is doing a better job of preparing versatile dancers for this industry than the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University.”

Christmas Vespers

More than 250 instrumentalists and choral singers will join talents for Oklahoma City University's 41st annual Christmas Vespers at First Presbyterian Church, 1001 NW 25th St. Christmas Vespers will be presented in an evening version at 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6, and in a matinee at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, both beneath the glow of the renowned stained glass windows of First Presbyterian Church. Open seating tickets are $15. Musical prelude begins 30 minutes prior to each performance.

The celebratory concerts feature sing-a-long carols, ancient choral music and a candlelight finale. Both concerts will conclude with “Night of Silence,” the traditional candlelight recessional inspired by “Silent Night.”

The program, designed around the theme “To God the Glory,” will feature John Rutter’s “Te Deum” and “Gloria” by Randol Bass. The OCU Symphony Orchestra will perform with four vocal ensembles — University Singers, Ad Astra Women’s Chorus, the University Chorale and the Chamber Choir, under the direction of Randi Von Ellefson and Tony Gonzalez.

Performers will include university organist Melissa Plamann and the OCU Vespers Orchestra, under the direction of Jeffrey Grogan. This year’s narrator will be Dr. B. Craig Stinson.