TAMU-CC Celebrates the 16th Annual Islander Lights

Alexis Garcia, Reporter

Every year Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi celebrates the holiday season by inviting all students and their family out to the campus to enjoy holiday festivities together as the semester nears its end. The Islander Lights has become a tradition for the past 16 years for the Islander Community, and this year it will once again be hosted primarily at the University Center (UC) on Nov. 18. 

The tradition will continue on as Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has begun preparations for the annual event on the campus, notably, the lights adorning the trees around Lee Plaza. There are many aspects to the Islander Lights celebrations that all students and their families will enjoy throughout the night.

Upon arriving at the UC, guests will be welcomed to explore the many different areas of celebrations around the building. At the center of the UC, known as the Rotunda, is where the Islander Lights Village will be found; where many campus organizations, clubs, and departments will set up tables meant to create an interactive environment for the guests. 

Also located at the UC, guests will find an Academic Forest where miniature Christmas trees are lined up and decorated by the different academic departments found at TAMU-CC, as well as an Arts & Crafts Market where local vendors will sell their homemade goods and crafts.

Throughout the night, the Department of Music will entertain guests with holiday performances provided by the ensembles of the Islander Chamber Music Scholarship Program at the UC and Hector P. Garcia Plaza. This not only gives the audience an insight into the Department of Music at TAMU-CC, but a preview into the Sounds of the Season concert held at the end of the Islander Lights event.

It is more intimate and audiences have more direct contact with the players.”  said Dr. Brian Shelton, Professor of Music & Director of Bands, Conducting, and Music Education. 

Nearing the end of the festivities at the climax of the night, all guests will be asked to walk to Lee Plaza, located outside of the Michael and Karen O’ Connor Building, where guest speakers will introduce the concept and tradition of the lighting ceremony, and flip the switch to illuminate the buildings in blue, green, and white lights all over the campus. 

As a beloved university tradition and special part of the trail of lights along the Corpus Christi bayfront,” as stated on the official TAMU-CC website. “The celebration unique to the Island campus has united the community in the holiday spirit by celebrating the blue and green glow of the campus holiday lights and decorations.” 

Immediately following the lighting of the campus, the Department of Music will host the annual Sounds of the Season concert to officially close the ceremony. Guests are invited to the Performing Arts Center where the Symphonic Band, University Orchestra, and Camerata Isla will perform various holiday music for one of the largest crowds of the year. 

“We are ecstatic to be able to perform for them,” said Dr. Shelton. “The department realizes how special the holiday season is, especially in South Texas. So we work hard to ensure a festive performance for everyone who attends. We want them to leave humming the music, a great start to the holiday.”