Watch "A St. Thomas Christmas" next week

Twin Cities Public Television next week will premiere "A St. Thomas Christmas," a nationally distributed holiday special broadcast from this year’s University of St. Thomas Christmas Concert.

The special will air in at least 40 markets across the country – from Washington, D.C., to Honolulu – beginning Saturday, Dec. 20.

The special will air in the Twin Cities at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23, on TPT’s flagship station, KTCA Channel 2. The broadcast will be repeated at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Wednesday, Dec. 24, on TPT Channel 17, and at 9 a.m. Christmas Day on Channel 2.

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. Some stations chose not to broadcast the concert this year because of fund drives and conflicts with other programs but said they hope to air it in December 2009 or 2010.

TPT also will produce a CD and DVD of "A St. Thomas Christmas" for purchase. The DVD includes bonus field interviews from the St. Thomas music program as well as concert footage. To order yours, print and complete the order form and return it with a check made payable to the University of St. Thomas. Order deadline is Jan. 31, 2009. DVDs and CDs will be mailed in February.

St. Thomas hosted two performances of its 21st annual Christmas Concert, " Hodie Christus Natus Est" ("Christ is Born Today") on Dec. 7 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 seven of the university’s vocal and instrumental ensembles: Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Women’s Choir, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Brass Choir and Handbell Choir.

The concert’s theme was inspired by the Latin antiphon to the Magnificat, sung at vespers on Christmas Day. "A St. Thomas Christmas" also features favorites such as the French carol "Patapan," "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Carol of the Bells."   The concert concludes with the audience joining all choirs and the university’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble in the joyful "Hark! The Herald-Angels Sing."