NCTC Christmas concert

The North Central Texas College Music Department will help you get in the Holiday spirit with a free concert on Dec. 4 in Gainesville.

The North Central Texas College Music Department will help you get in the Holiday spirit with a free concert on Dec. 4 in Gainesville.

The concert, titled “Christmas Time is Here, Christmas Time is Here” will begin at 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, Dec. 4 at the First State Bank Center for the Performing Arts on the NCTC Gainesville campus. Concert-goers are encouraged to show up early as seating will be limited.

Shane Studdard, the director of the College Singers at NCTC, says the concert will offer something for everyone to enjoy.

“It is going to be a lot of variety. It truly is something for everybody,” he said. “We are opening with the College Singers and our special guests will be the choir from First Baptist Church. When they join with us, we will have almost 70 voices in the room. That portion is more traditional Christmas music. Then our Wind Ensemble is going to be featured and they are doing a really eclectic program with some standard woodwind ensemble literature and also some really special Christmas songs. For the third part of our concert, the College Singers will be in a snow-covered park. It will be more of a show-choir performance with scenes.”

Marty Kobuck, the director of the NCTC Wind Ensemble, says the playlist for his group will be varied.

“Wonderful melodies will be heard in Michael Sweeney’s Black Forest Overture,” he said. “Classic American march music is showcased with Colonel Bogey March. Ed Huckeby’s Abington Ridge  has a rhythmic drive reminiscent of Ravel’s Bolero. Mission Impossible, a popular theme song, will be recognized by many. The modern wind-band composition Havendance will complete the traditional Wind Ensemble program. Christmas selections include Jazzy Holidays, Christmas at the Movies, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

While the concert is free, donations will be accepted to add to the department’s scholarship fund.

The College Singers will need those scholarships next spring as they were recently selected to perform at the world-famous Carnegie Hall in New York City.

“(Manhattan Concert Productions) had an idea about two years ago to get a community college festival choir together comprised of community college choirs from all over America,” Studdard explained. “Their standards are very strict. We had to send in an audition video. It was weeks before I heard back. I was really nervous that we would not get chosen, but we did. We will be joining with about 200 voices and a professional orchestra. The director of the group is the president of the American Choral Directors Association.”

The concert at Carnegie Hall is scheduled for May 10, 2015.

“The selection we will be singing in Carnegie Hall is called “Gloria” by the famous Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi,” Studdard said. “Every college choir should sing this and I am thrilled that we are getting a chance to do it with all these other college choirs in New York. It will be the kind of experience that these young people may never have again. We’ve started fundraising. It’s not cheap to get 30 people to New York. It’s about $1,500 a person.”

For more information on the upcoming Christmas concert at NCTC or how you can help with the College Singers’ trip to Carnegie Hall, email Studdard at

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