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OU school of music to celebrate holiday season with two festive concerts

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Jonathan Shames, Conductor of OU Symphony Orchestra, conducts the orchestra April 22.

OU’s School of music will present two holiday concerts featuring organ music and sing-alongs. 

OU organ professor John Schwandt will play improv holiday songs based on audience suggestions at the 14th annual “Holiday Pipes” concert on Dec. 6.

The audience is encouraged to write down their favorite holiday music on sheets of paper before the concert begins. A popular request is “O Holy Night,” but Schwandt said there are always a variety of suggestions.

“The pipe organ lends itself pretty well to improvisation,” Schwandt said. “You’re sort of a one-person orchestra.”

“Christmas at OU” will feature its 11th year of seasonal music and sing-alongs with the OU Women’s Choir, Men’s Glee Club, OU Chorale, and Percussion and Saxophone studios, according to a press release. The choirs will be conducted by students from all over the world, said Richard Zielinski, director of choral activities at OU.

The concert will include Christmas classics as well as secular music and some pieces from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Zielinski said.

“It’s not just a Christmas concert, there’s lots of different kinds of music,” he said. “From ‘Deck the Halls’ to sing-along pieces and pieces from other countries and other cultures, it’s a great way for us to end the year.”

Both performances are part of the Sutton Concert Series, which is a concert series through the OU School of Music, Zielinski said.

“Holiday Pipes” will start at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 in Grayce B. Kerr Gothic Hall in the Catlett Music Center. “Christmas at OU” will start at 3 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall in the Catlett Music Center.

Tickets for both events can be purchased by calling 405-325-4101 or visiting the OU Fine Arts Box Office in Catlett Music Center. Tickets purchased in advance are $9 for adults and $5 for students, faculty, staff, seniors and military, and all tickets are $10 at the door.

Molly Kruse is a journalism senior and assistant culture editor at the Daily. She previously worked as culture reporter, copyeditor and social media coordinator.

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