In order to celebrate the highly anticipated holiday season, Laurie Auditorium will be filled with the sounds of bells clanging, voices chiming and musical instruments ringing; several of Trinity’s musical ensembles will be gathering on Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. to perform their traditional abundance of seasonal holiday songs. With performances from the wind ensemble, the symphony orchestra, the jazz band, the hand bell ensemble and the assorted choirs, a great diversity of music has been organized and rehearsed to perfect in order to entertain the audience. Several holiday favorites are expected to be played, and as each of the musicians anticipate a great turnout, the performing arts department has prepared for a successful show.

As large crowds have gathered for the concert in the past, performers often look forward to this concert in order to have the opportunity to play for a large number of people.

“The Christmas concert is by far the most popular concert at Trinity, both with the students and with outsiders from around San Antonio. It is a lot of fun to provide a fun time for such a large crowd,” said Bryan Schrock, a senior computer science major and jazz band performer.

The concert also allows students to enjoy performances executed by friends and peers in other ensembles, which is a rare opportunity.

“This will be my fourth and last Christmas concert. I play in the jazz band, and we normally play as exit music in the lobby, which is actually great because I can sit back and enjoy the full concert and then play in a much more intimate setting. People normally will stand around and watch our entire performance,” Schrock said.

Many ensembles select well-known pieces to perform. For example, the Trinity jazz band has selected a montage of holiday music from one of the most familiar, beloved sources of entertainment in production history.

“Jazz ensemble will be playing a Peanuts Christmas montage, and it’s very fun. I think people will really enjoy it,” said Savannah Wagner, a junior religion major

and jazz band performer.

Despite the stress of finals building, performers practice frequently, guaranteeing high quality performances.

“While it’s not my first performance, I expect a good show from all the groups. We often don’t have much time to put together a Christmas program, yet it still turns out well,” Wagner sad.

The concert also provides an opportunity for members of the Trinity community to come together; some performers have already begun looking for ways to include even more listeners.

“It’s just a nice time to get together with family for some spirited music. There are a lot of talented people playing who make a wonderful evening of it. I only wish it was more of a holiday concert instead of a Christmas concert as far as music selections go, but maybe this year will surprise me. I think more diverse music might draw even more people,” Wagner said.

For some, this performance is one of their first at Trinity, and the excitement leading up to the concert has prepared performers for a special night.

“This is my first Christmas concert at Trinity, so it will be different performing for this community, but I look forward to playing the music and helping bring the community together,” said Marshall Tickner, a first-year physics major.

The ability to observe the talents or others while performing simultaneously is a chance the student performers really look forward to.

“I’m performing in three of the groups, so I’m really looking forward to the diverse experience of performing in each of the groups. It’s going to be a great night with lots of great music from all of the ensembles. I think it is a great opportunity for the Trinity community to come together and celebrate the spirit of the holidays,” Tickner said.

The holiday concert is an event open to the public, allowing the performers to share their talents with viewers not associated with Trinity.

“It’s a really unique event for Trinity because it not only pulls all the musical ensembles together in a way the other concerts do, but it’s also really popular with the San Antonio community. I think it’s a really fun time to connect with the community and showcase some really great artists and musicians at Trinity,” said Anna Rigodanzo, a sophomore neuroscience major and jazz band performer.

Some performances of the concert will also allow for audience participation, which is a favorite portion of the event for both the musicians and audience members.

“Everybody should come out. There’s a sing-a-long part that’s really fun because it gets the crowd involved; two Christmas sing-a- longs were picked to sing with the choir. It’s a really fun, interactive way to get in the holiday mood during such a stressful time. It’s important to take a study break; the concert isn’t very long but it’s definitely worthwhile,” Rigodanzo said.

The concert offers new, distinct performances every year, providing audience members with alternative renditions of songs in the program.

“This is going to be my fourth time around, so I already have some notion of how it’s going to pan out. I gotta say though, every year the choir always surprises me with some really cool rendition of a timeless Christmas tune. I’m excited to see what they have in store this time around,” said Gary Herron, a senior biology major.

With timeless classics, altered renditions and holiday cheer in the air, this annual concert promises to get all of the audience members excited for the show; free admission and refreshments may even beckon more viewers to attend.

“Every year there’s something different. In addition to the main concert, there’s music provided before and after the concert, giving the audience a wealth of Christmas cheer. And of course it’s free,” Herron said.

As the semester concludes, students and faculty members will begin to prepare for finals, submit final papers and hastily pack their bags to return home; in the middle of this hectic, stressful time, the performers and organizers of the concert hope to remind everyone that this really is the most wonderful time of the year, and soon enough, everyone in the Trinity community will be celebrating the holiday season and the end of another semester.

The annual holiday concert will take place this Friday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, as seating is organized on a first-come, first-serve basis.