For the last half-century, Bethel University has been inspiring audiences with one of the most spectacular and beautiful Christmas concerts in Minnesota. This year, to celebrate the 50th annual performance of its Festival of Christmas, the Saint Paul university has teamed with tpt to televise the event for the first time, so that the concert can be enjoyed by a much wider audience. The festival is a stunning musical pageant showcasing many of the school's renowned student performing groups. Several choirs and orchestral groups, joined by a magnificent 4,000-pipe, hand-built Blackinton organ, will create a rich aural tapestry celebrating the holiday season. More than 6,000 people attend the festival in person every year, but Bethel's partnership with tpt will ensure that viewers throughout the state and the nation will have the chance to witness the event. The concert will take place in the university's Benson Great Hall, widely regarded as one of the finest concert halls in the Upper Midwest. The Bethel Choir will be among the highlights of the program. The group, one of the region's best collegiate choirs, tours extensively in the U.S. and Europe and has recorded major works with the Minnesota Orchestra. The choir will be joined by Bethel's 60-piece Wind Symphony Orchestra, Women's Chorale, Male Chorus, Handbell Ensemble, and Festival Choir. The program will include a performance of John Rutter's Gloria; a processional based on the traditional hymn "Angels We Have Heard on High"; Variants on a Medieval Tune, by Norman Dello Joio; and Carl Schalk's "Before the Marvel of This Night."
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