BISMARCK, ND — The University of Mary welcomes people from all over for the area for the much-anticipated annual “Christmas at Mary” concert. “Christmas at Mary” is a celebration of the beauty and wonder of the season of Christmas including such familiar selections as “Good Christian Men, Rejoice,” “Grown Up Christmas List,” and “Silent Night.” Featured performers, with students from 19 states, include the 100-voice Concert Choir, Gabrieli Brass, and Vocal Jazz, which will perform its own version of the Pentatonix arrangement of “Mary, Did You Know.” Additional performers include the University of Mary Saxophone Quartet, Oboe Trio, String Ensemble, and the university’s first-ever student harp duet directed by Gayla Sherman.

Christmas at Mary 2015 WebThe concerts are Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 6, at 3 p.m. They are all free and open to the public.

The concert begins with a rousing African “Noel,” complete with call-and-response and multiple percussion and moves to “Stars” by Estonian composer Eriks Esenvalds, which uses tuned water glasses to produce a soothing landscape of sound. In addition to full choir selections, the women and the men of the choir will be featured on selections from Latin motets to contemporary songs, including a Jamaican-style number by the men’s choir, “The King Is Born.”

Gabrieli Brass, directed by Professor Dennis Gowen, includes 30 performers, both current students and music alumni, playing in three distinct choirs positioned around Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel. Combined with the organ, the piece creates a surround-sound effect that is uplifting and inspiring.

“Christmas at Mary showcases the immensely talented student ensembles at the University of Mary,” said Dr. Tom Porter, professor of music and chair of the Department of Music at Mary. “These students come from 19 states and represent majors from the four schools of the university: Arts and Sciences, Health Care, Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Business.”

The concert is located in the stunning Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel in the Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership on south campus. Concert attendees are encouraged to take the south entrance to the university and proceed west to the Tharaldson School of Business parking lot.