givensTim Altman is the Chair of the music department at UNC Pembroke. He not only teaches classes and participates in community events, he also oversees the production and planning of the Givens Performing Arts Center Holiday Extravaganza. On Dec. 2, the concert combines the talents of the university’s faculty, staff and students to bring a lively combination of well-loved holiday songs to the audience.

“The audience will hear their favorite holiday tunes from numerous large and small ensembles: the saxophone ensemble, the university chorale, the jazz combo, a vocal jazz ensemble, a percussion ensemble, a trumpet ensemble, a flute Ensemble, a clarinet ensemble, steel drums and more,” said Altman. “The faculty in the UNC Pembroke Music Department are seasoned professionals.  Many have performed all over the world. The students in the UNCP music department are constantly improving.  Our students compete in state, regional and national competitions.  So, the quality of performances usually exceeds expectations.”

From start to finish, the Holiday Extravaganza features more than 200 performers. From small groups to large ensembles that include the Concert Band and University Chorale, there is no shortage of variety in the performance. “I like showing so many different facets of our department in one production.  This is one of our only opportunities to show off such a variety of ensembles in one performance,” said Altman. “The UNCP Music Department gave more than 150 performances last year.”

For Altman, while every part of the show is a lot of fun, it is the end of the show that he really enjoys. “My favorite part of the show is the sing-along at the end. Everyone in the audience joins in to sing holiday favorites (with the 65 people in the concert band accompanying). So, we have a choir of around 1,000 with the audience.”  

The performance starts at 8 p.m. However, there is a TubaChristmas performance in front of GPAC at 7:30 p.m. 

TubaChristmas is a concert held in various cities around the world. It celebrates those who play, teach and compose music for instruments in the tuba family. This includes the tuba, sousaphone, baritone and euphonium. There are also rarer instruments of the tube family such as the helicon, ophicleide, serpent and double bell euphonium.

Harvey G. Phillips had the first TubaChristmas in 1974 to honor his tuba teacher William Bell, who was born on Christmas Day 1902. The first TubaChristmas was held Dec. 22, 1974, in the ice skating rink at New York City’s Rockefeller Center;  More than 300 musicians participated that day. Little did they know it was the beginning a holiday tradition. 

Proceeds from the Holiday Extravaganza concert will go to support music scholarships.  General Admission costs $12. It costs $2 per child or Non-UNCP Student and $2 for UNCP Students. For tickets and information, visit  http://www.uncp.edu/giving/advancement/givens-performing-arts-center/broadway-and-more-series.

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