A St. Thomas tradition spanning more than two decades will broaden its audience beyond the boundaries of Orchestra Hall to public television stations across the country.

1011_stthomasxmas_300x200St. Thomas will present its 23rd annual Christmas concert, “All My Heart This Night Rejoices,” at 4 and 7:30  p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis.

Tickets are available online through the Orchestra Hall Box Office or by phone at (612) 371-5656 or (800) 292-4141. All seats are $15 plus a nominal Orchestra Hall transaction fee. There is no limit to the number of tickets that may be purchased. Please note: The concert is open to adults and children over 6.

Twin Cities Public Television will be on hand recording for its presentation of “A St. Thomas Christmas 2010,” a one-hour holiday special to be distributed to public television stations nationwide during the holiday season by American Public Television. TPT will premiere the broadcast on its flagship St. Paul station, KTCA Channel 2, at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15.

Additional broadcast dates include:

  • On tpt2
    Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m.
    Thursday, Dec. 16 at 1 a.m.
    Friday, Dec. 24 at 9 p.m.
    Saturday, Dec. 25 at 3 a.m. and 9 a.m.    
  • On the statewide tptMN
    Tuesday, Dec.21 at 8 p.m.
    Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 2 a.m., 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“The whole St. Thomas community is so proud of these students and very pleased to be sharing with people across the nation the joy of Christmas through music” said Dr. Marisa Kelly, dean of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences.

The concert, with a program of choral and instrumental music for the Advent and Christmas seasons, features 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 theme “All My Heart This Night Rejoices,” was inspired by a song selection from the program with the same name. According to Dr. Angela Broeker, director of choral activities, “We love the beauty of the song and the text: All my heart, all this night rejoices./As I hear far and near sweetest angel voices, ‘Gloria in excelsis Deo.’/All the air, and everywhere, ‘Gloria.’”

Concert-goers will be treated to the best in sacred music for the season, including traditional favorites such as “O Holy Night” and “Hark! The Herald-Angels Sing” and Hispanic carols “Convidando esta la noche” and “Los Reyes Magos,” in addition to several modern pieces.

All concert proceeds will benefit St. Thomas music ensembles’ international performance tours.

History of the concert: St. Thomas’ Christmas concert quickly became tradition after its first performance on Dec. 11, 1988, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the university’s main campus in St. Paul. St. Thomas’ president at the time, the late Monsignor Terrence Murphy, envisioned a campus concert of Christmas music featuring ensembles from the coordinate departments of music from St. Thomas and St. Catherine. By 1993 the growing Music Department at St. Thomas had become independent, and the university’s Alumni Association began to note the concert in its mailings. An extraordinary number of alumni and their families responded, necessitating an additional performance.

By 1997, four performances were held on campus, but still, some 2,000 ticket requests could not be honored. In 2007, the concert was moved to Orchestra Hall to accommodate the many for whom the concert has become a Christmas calendar fixture: university students, faculty, staff and alumni of St. Thomas and their families and friends. And the public is welcome, too.

More holiday music from TPT: In addition to “A St. Thomas Christmas 2010,” TPT will premiere “Songs of the Season – A College Choir Christmas Celebration” on Wednesday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. on tpt2. It will also air on tptLife on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m., then re-air on tpt2 on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m., and Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 1 a.m.  

The program will feature highlights of college Christmas music performances taped by Twin Cities Public Television since 2004.

This includes new tunes, classic carols and sacred hymns of the Christmas season performed by choirs, bands and orchestras of St. Thomas, Augsburg College, Bethel University, St. Olaf College, Concordia College and Luther College. This will be the first time music by these  choirs will be seen together in one program.