Sixth Annual Christmas Concert puts AMK, community in holiday spirit

Sixth Annual Christmas Concert puts AMK, community in holiday spirit

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by Dolores Bustamante

As a gift to the community, the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Department of Music hosted their Sixth Annual Christmas Concert on Dec 1 in Jones Auditorium.

Audience members were asked to take a new, unwrapped toy to benefit Toys For Tots.

Since their start in 1947 by Major Bill Hendrix of the Marine Corps, Toys For Tots have collected more than four hundred million toys. The donations collected at the concert will go to children of Kleberg and Kennedy Counties.

“If Toys For Tots doesn‘t get you in the Christmas Spirit, I don‘t know what will,” said speaker of the night, James Warth.

Special guests included Lisa Bockholt, coordinator of the Toys for Tots Campaign in Kingsville, First Lieutenant Brian Kimmins and First Lieutenant Sean McHugh of the United States Marine Corps, and “Elf Naomi.”

Bockholt, wished to dedicate the concert in memory and honor of the late Aurora Garza who passed away in March. In addition, Bockholt noted the donation of over 750 books from the Retired Teachers Association. Bockhold presented Warth and Chair of the Department Dr. Paul Hageman commemorative shirts displaying the theme of “City of Hope.”

“Kingsville, Texas is, because of every one of you, the City of Hope,” Bockholt said to the audience.

McHugh said the awareness made possible by the concert would allow underprivileged to children to have a happy Christmas.

Before the official start of the concert, the audience was treated with music performed by Mariachi Javelina, under the direction of Jeff Stone.

Introducing the bands, Warth began the concert by saying the bands would be playing sacred as well as secular music.

The Javelina Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Kenneth D. Williams, was the first to perform. Featuring Francisco Cano on piano, as well as Zachary Harwell, the choir performed: “Personent Hodie”; “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” with a solo performed by soprano Mary Rokohl; “Ding! Dong! Merrily On High”; and “The Sleigh (a la Russe).”

As Jazz Band I set up, Warth entertained the audience by bringing out one of Santa Claus’s elves, Elf Naomi. Warth asked Elf Naomi a series of “Elf Questions.” Throughout the concert, others continued on with the jovial spirit in a deadpanned manner, delivering “silly jokes.”

Jazz Band I, directed by Hageman, played: “A Big Band Christmas”; “Rest Ye Merry Samba”; a new arrangement of “Frosty the Snowman” “for the kids”; and the combining ballad/salsa “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

The final band to take stage was the Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dr. Brian Shelton. The ensemble performed: “And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria!”; “The Twelve Days of Christmas”; “Greensleeves”; a medley of Christmas favorites, “A Christmas Festival”; and “Christmas ‘Pop’ Sing-Along.”

The audience was invited to sing along to “Christmas ‘Pop’ Sing-Along,” following along using the lyrics found on their copy of the program. Members of the Javelina Concert Choir stood in the aisle to assist with the sing-along.

Editor in Chief of the South Texan at Texas A&M University - Kingsville