Webster University, HEC-TV Partner for Annual “Gift to the City” Concert

Nov. 25, 2015

Webster University, HEC-TV Partner for Annual “Gift to the City” Concert
Webster students perform during the 2014 "Gift to the City" concert

ST. LOUIS – For the past seven years, students and faculty from Webster University’s Department of Music in the Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts perform classic Christmas and other holiday songs during the free “A Gift to the City” concert at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis.

And every year, the event is sold out with standing room only, leaving many disappointed that they weren’t able to hear Christmas and other holiday music performed by the University’s acclaimed Conservatory students.

This year, Webster University is partnering with HEC-TV to bring the performance into area homes. The Dec. 6 live performance will be taped by HEC-TV and broadcast at the end of December and in early January. Among the featured performances will be the Webster University Chamber Singers, a student choral group that has received much acclaim in the past few years.

“Christ Church Cathedral has been a wonderful partner since the inception of this annual concert, offering us their beautiful venue to help kick off the season,” said Jeffrey Carter, chair of Webster’s Department of Music. “We also are thrilled that HEC-TV will tape it and broadcast it so that even more people can participate in this wonderful holiday event.”

“HEC-TV’s mission is to strengthen and promote the education, arts, and cultural communities in the St. Louis Metropolitan area,” said Dennis Riggs, executive director of HEC-TV. “For the holiday season, we could think of no better program that meets all of those objectives than to offer Webster University’s annual ‘Gift to the City’ concert.”

The concert will be performed at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 at Christ Cathedral Church. It will feature performances by the Webster University Chamber Orchestra, Webster University Women’s Chorale, Webster University Concert Choir, Webster University Chamber Singers and student and faculty soloists.

The centerpiece work is Gerald Finzi’s “In terra pax” for chorus and orchestra, with poetry of Robert Bridges and a long excerpt from the Christmas narrative by St. Luke. That piece will be performed by the combined Webster University Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Singers.

The Chamber Singers have received much acclaim in the past two years. This year, the Chamber Singers were selected to perform a new work during the reopening of the Pulitzer art museum. They also were named semifinalist in the college/university chorus division of The American Prize, a national non-profit multi-category competition in the performing arts. And they performed with Josh Groban during a sold-out concert at the Peabody Opera House in downtown St. Louis this year.

Last year, the Chamber Singers were one of only five college choirs selected to perform during the main session concert at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) biennial divisional conference. In recent years, the group also backed Todd Rundgren at the Orpheum and performed vocals during the “Star Wars in Concert” tour.  

HEC-TV will air the full “Gift to the City” at 5 p.m. on Dec. 24, 25 and 26 on Charter channel 989 and AT&T UVerse Channel 99. Viewers who use an antenna to receive digital broadcasts will be able to see the concert on channel 2.2 at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 25 and at 1 p.m. Jan. 3.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Webster University (www.webster.edu) comprises an action-oriented global network of faculty, staff, students and alumni who forge powerful bonds with each other and with their communities around the globe. Founded in 1915, Webster is a private non-profit university with almost 20,000 students studying at campus locations in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa and in a robust learning environment online. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.

tags:  academics, college of fine arts, featured, home page, webster life, webster today,