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Islander musicians put on festive performance

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BREE ORTEGA 
Staff Writer 

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s school of arts, media and communication and department of music hosted their 17th annual Holiday Gala on Dec. 1 in the Performing Arts Center.

Guests were able to hang out in the lobby and enjoy music by Islanders. Children were able to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Letters to Santa were also available to those interested in sharing their Christmas wishes this year.

David Lautenschlager was the host for the evening who welcomed guests and introduced the musical numbers.

The Gala was put on by more than 90 music students spanning different musical genres and instruments. The Island University offers performance opportunities including university orchestra, symphonic and concert bands, pep band, jazz band, university singers, Camerata Isla, and the Corpus Christi Chorale.

The percussion ensemble preformed “We Three Kings” under the direction of Dr. Matthew McClung.

“My favorite piece was the very first song called ‘We the Kings,’” said Corpus Christi resident Lori Marshall. “I love Christmas because it brings people together. It’s simply the most wonderful time of the Year.”

The University Orchestra, directed by Dr. Jose Flores and conducted by Dr. Brian Shelton, preformed “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for attendees.

Lautenschlager began to explain the importance of music to Islanders and the community. The department of music has participated in several events along the Coastal Bend which has gotten the music department more involved in the community.

Dr. Diana Sipes directed the flute ensemble as the preformed “I Wander as I Wander.” Shortly after, the university singers, conducted by Dr. Ross Bernhardt, preformed “Nigun Bialik,” “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” and “The Christmas Song.”

Lautenschlager also read a story called the legend of the poinsettia. The legend of the poinsettia introduced how it doesn’t matter what gifts you give or how much people spend during this holiday because it’s mainly the thought that counts.

Islander Jazz, directed by Dr. Brian Thacker preformed “Winter Wonderland,” “Silver Bells” and “Sleigh Ride.”

“I really enjoyed ‘Sleigh Ride’ by the Jazz Band,” said sophomore marine biology major Maddie Levsen. “It got me really pumped for Christmas.”

The Camerta Isla and university singers, performed together “Carol of the Bells,” “God Rest Ye Merry Brubeck,” and “Snow” from “Voices of the Earth.”

“I’ve never been to the Gala before,” said Marshall. “It was great experience and I loved all the music.”

The Holiday Gala preforms for guests to enjoy Christmas music by Islanders. Funds from this event will go to Islanders who are receiving scholarships from the department of music. The second fundraiser will be the annual Musical Miles 5k. To learn more about the events hosted by the Department of music go to cla.tamucc.edu/music

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