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Christmas Concert Gala to Feature Two Musical Premieres and a Superstar Headliner

Christmas Concert Gala to Feature Two Musical Premieres and a Superstar Headliner

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Dr. Richard Nance conducts The Choir of the West at a 2014 PLU Christmas Concert. (PLU Photo/John Froschauer)

Image: Dr. Richard Nance conducts The Choir of the West at a 2014 PLU Christmas Concert. (PLU Photo/John Froschauer)

November 2, 2015
By Zach Powers '10
PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, WASH. (Nov. 2, 2015)- Pacific Lutheran University’s annual Christmas Concerts have entertained and inspired audiences across the Pacific Northwest for decades. For 2015, PLU is making Christmas Concert history in celebration of its 125th Anniversary.

As in previous years, the concerts will be performed in Portland, Seattle and at PLU. But this year, the series will culminate with a special one-night-only 125th Anniversary Gala Concert on Dec. 11.

The gala concert will be headlined by New York-based Metropolitan Opera soprano and PLU alumna Angela Meade ‘01, winner of the 2012 Beverly Sills Artist Award from the Metropolitan Opera and the 2011 Richard Tucker Award.

“Those who haven’t heard Angela sing are in for an added treat at the gala concert,” said University Chorale Conductor and Associate Director of Choral Activities Brian Galante. “She has a powerful voice – warm, rich and vibrant in the loud, climactic moments, and sublimely beautiful in the soft, tender sections.”

“We’ll get to hear the full range and expression of her singing in the repertoire for this Christmas Concert. And even though she has a commanding stage presence, she is able to draw the audience in for the most intimate moments of a selection.”

This year’s Christmas Concerts will be the exclusive world premiere of prolific Hollywood film composer J.A.C. Redford’s A Christmas Invitation, a three-movement work composed especially for PLU’s world-renowned Choir of the West, University Chorale and University Symphony Orchestra.

Redford has written scores for nearly 100 feature films, TV movies and television programs. His film compositions include Disney’s Oliver and Company (1988), Newsies (1992) and The Mighty Ducks II and III (1994, 1996). He has also orchestrated dozens of blockbuster films, including Skyfall (2012), The Help (2011) and Avatar (2009).

Redford has composed nearly 500 episodes of television, including episodes of Coach (1989-97), Starsky & Hutch (1975-79) and St. Elsewhere (1982-88), for which he received Emmy nominations in 1984 and 1985.

“J.A.C.’s music is very tuneful, and always filled with textures and colors,” said Choir of the West Conductor and PLU Director of Choral Activities Richard Nance. “His writing is harmonically rich and it contains interesting twists and turns.”

The six Christmas Concerts will also be the premiere of “December: A Meditation on Advent,” the latest piece by award-winning composer and PLU Professor of Music Gregory Youtz. The composition features a number of familiar Advent hymns that are used frequently in Lutheran and many other Christian Advent celebrations.

Youtz hopes the piece will serve as a way for listeners to connect with the rich tradition of Lutheran hymnody. “December uses six well-known early chorales from the Lutheran Book of Worship and takes us on a journey from dark to light, from longing to fulfillment, from Advent to Christmas,” he explained.

Staying true to PLU tradition, the concerts will include traditional Christmas favorites as well as festive carols sung by the audience.

Pacific Lutheran University presents A Christmas Invitation banner

PLU Christmas Concerts: Schedule & Tickets

Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, Ore.

Wednesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m.


Benaroya Hall, Seattle

Monday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m.


Lagerquist Concert Hall, PLU, Tacoma

Saturday, Dec. 5, at 8 p.m.[SOLD OUT]

Sunday, Dec. 6, at 3 p.m. [SOLD OUT]

Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8 p.m.[SOLD OUT]

Tickets to the above concerts are General Admission $35 | 55+, PLU & Alumni $30 | Students $25 | Group Sales (10+) $25.


125th Anniversary Gala Concert [SOLD OUT]

Friday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m.

Lagerquist Concert Hall, PLU, Tacoma

Featuring Metropolitan Opera Soprano Angela Meade, Class of 2001

$125 tickets include a pre-concert hors d’oeuvres reception, reserved seating and a special post-concert reception. All proceeds benefit PLU’s Music Scholarship Fund.
Standard tickets are also available for $50.