Christmas on the Hill: Annual holiday concerts at PUC

By Becky St. Clair on November 29, 2018

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Pacific Union College’s department of music invites the community to their annual celebration of holiday music, Christmas on the Hill. The Wind Symphony concert is Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. in Paulin Hall on the college campus. Choral and orchestra concerts will take place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 & 8 (repeated concert), at 8 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively, in the PUC church.

Admission to all events is free, though a free-will offering will be collected to support those most affected by the Camp Fire in Paradise.

Asher Raboy, resident artist and Wind Symphony conductor, will lead the ensemble in their concert, “Holiday Favorites,” featuring various arrangements of familiar songs of the season. Pieces include “Joy to the World,” “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella,” and the crowd-pleasing “Sleigh Ride” of Leroy Anderson. Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song” features saxophone soloist Kyler Martin.

Peace is the focus of the Dec. 7 & 8 concerts, featuring PUC’s Chorale, Vox Pro Musica, Orchestra, and Bell Choir. This concert (repeated) will include several choruses from Handel’s “The Messiah,” high impact orchestral arrangements of traditional carols, congregational singing, readings, and more.

“I used Maya Angelou’s ‘Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem’ for a lot of the readings,” explains Jenelle Anderson, choirs conductor. “The thread running through the concert is ‘peace,’ and Christ is the bringer of true peace.”

Chorale will perform a unique holiday piece, a combination of a very traditional old carol and a South African freedom song. “The Messiah” choruses will feature soloists Johanna Bazan and Kelley Polite. Rachelle Davis, chair of the department of music, will conduct the orchestra; Auriel Helmer conducts the Bell Choir. The event will end with the traditional candlelit “Silent Night.”

For more information about the department of music at PUC, visit