By MacKenzie Hall
OBU News Bureau
ARKADELPHIA — Ouachita Baptist University’s School of Fine Arts will present its annual holiday program, A Festival of Christmas, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, at 7:30 p.m. in Jones Performing Arts Center. The theme of the production is “Christmastime,” from Michael W. Smith’s 1998 album of the same name.
Dr. Joshua Brown, co-director of the performance and director of choral activities at Ouachita, said that A Festival of Christmas is “a treasured Ouachita tradition that was dearly missed last year. We are excited to have this opportunity to kick off the Christmas season at Ouachita.”
Festival of Christmas will also be directed by Stephanie Murry, assistant professor of theatre arts.
Performers will include the Concert Choir, Ouachita Singers, Women’s Chorus, Percussion Ensemble, Ouachita Saxophone Orchestra and three small vocal ensembles.
“It is just wonderful to have A Festival of Christmas again after having to take a year off due to the pandemic. The students are so excited to share this show with the community, family and friends again,” Brown said.
The program will feature traditional Christmas songs such as “A Marshmallow World,” written by Peter DeRose, and “Silver Bells,” written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, both arranged by Mark Hayes; “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s TheNutcracker, arranged by Mark Brymer; “The Christmas Waltz,” written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, and arranged by David Clydesdale; “Breath of Heaven,” written by Amy Grant and arranged by Lloyd Larson; and “Silent Night,” written by Heather Sorenson; as well as a performance to Avalon’s “Light a Candle” from students of the Arkadelphia studio DancePraize.
“We hope that our performance will give the audience an added measure of joy as we head into the Christmas season,” Brown added.
A Festival of Christmas is open to the public. Tickets are $12—students can get one ticket free with their Ouachita ID—and can be purchased at the JPAC Box Office, open weekdays from 1-5 p.m.; at obu.edu/boxoffice; or by calling (870) 245-5555.