The ninth annual Christmas at Duquesne concert is now in the books, and there was no shortage of holiday cheer to be found on campus!
On Sunday, December 3, the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra, Brass Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Voices of Spirit, and Pappert Chorale (conducted by Dr. Caron Daley, Dr. James Gourlay, and Mike Tomaro) performed for hundreds of audience members in person and around the world via live stream. In addition, a special music video was given its world premiere featuring President Ken Gormley on piano, Debbie Zugates on vocals, and two Mary Pappert School of Music students—Evan Weston (bass) and Joe Walsh (drums)—performing Vince Guaraldi’s classic “Christmas Time Is Here.”
Christmas at Duquesne has been a hugely successful concert for each of its nine years, bringing capacity audiences each time. This year’s crowds were no different, but it was the first time the concert was performed twice in one day. The Charles J. Dougherty Ballroom in the University’s Power Center was packed for each show, and several hundred more people tuned in to the video and audio live streams from 35 states, Switzerland, Nigeria, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada, Mexico, the US Virgin Islands, France, Malaysia, and Japan.
Following the success of the 2022 edition of Christmas at Duquesne, President Gormley spearheaded an initiative to record and produce an album of Christmas music by the Duquesne community. In addition to his recording of “Christmas Time Is Here”, Christmas at Duquesne 2023 also includes 14 other tracks featuring performances by the University’s Voices of Spirit, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, Wind Symphony, and solo artists including David Allen Wehr (Dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music and Jack W. Geltz Distinguished Piano Chair), Fr. Ray French, Lynn Purse (Professor Emerita), and former student Rosemarie Spollen. The album was released on December 1, 2023 and was available to purchase by those in attendance at the concert.
“Christmas at Duquesne has become a central element of our University’s celebration of the holiday season,” said David Allen Wehr, Dean of the Mary Pappert School of Music (and host of the 2023 performance). “We have so many wonderfully talented students in our school, and what better way to showcase those talents than with a concert of this magnitude, shown around the world? We are very appreciative of the support we have received from President Gormley and the rest of the campus community, and we are also thankful to the families and friends who have done so much to foster music in the lives of our students.”
While recordings of this year’s performances will not be rebroadcast, the Christmas at Duquesne 2023 album will be streamed on the IEMMA Broadcast Network’s 24/7 internet radio station at 8 a.m., 4:30 p.m., and 8 p.m. daily throughout the holiday season. The album is also available to download on Amazon Music and Apple Music.
Images from the Performances