The Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University will present the 33rd annual Christmas Gala Dec. 1-3 in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Performance times are 7 p.m. each evening with a 9 p.m. performance on Dec. 3.
This will be the first time in three years a live Christmas Gala will be performed in the renovated A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. The 2019 Gala was moved off campus due to construction in the auditorium. Last year’s performance was virtual due to the pandemic.
Tickets are $15. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current student I.D.
“The Christmas Gala is eagerly anticipated by both local audiences and our students who perform and work behind the scenes,” said Gala Director Brett Alan Garfinkel. “The School of Creative and Performing Arts works on the Gala year-round to be sure we provide a memorable event for the community.”
The Gala will feature performances by the NSU Jazz Orchestra, “Out on a Limb Improv” Troupe, the NSU Dance Company, NSU Percussion Ensemble, Demon Dazzlers, Demon Heat Colorguard, NSU Brass Choir, NSU Chamber Choir and the Natchitoches-Northwestern-Symphony Orchestra,
The Gala story was written by NSU students Olivia Hancock of Dubach, Mekayla Jenkins of Jennings, Mikiah Odom of Marshall. Texas, and Kaylon Willoughby of Hammond. Ensemble directors and conductors are Galindo Rodriguez, Robert Richoux, Kenneth Green, David Steele, Jena Elfer, Dr. Grace Edgar, Dr. Nicholaus B. Cummins, Dr. Douglas Bakenhus and Garfinkel. Choreographers are Pia Wyatt, Kirstin Riehl, Rebecca Morgan and Michael Lomeka.
More than 400 Northwestern State students, faculty and staff in the School of Creative and Performing Arts combine their talents to present the Gala as a kickoff to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Large crowds attend the Gala each year which is based on the long-running Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular.
Garfinkel said the Gala will combine popular parts from past shows along with new elements that are added this year. He said this year’s Christmas Gala will be a version of a Louisiana Nutcracker.
“A Fais-do-do will take the place of the usual Christmas Party,” said Garfinkel. “Instead of the Land of the Sweets in Act II the show will take a journey through the Land of Spices. The music and performance acts will have a Louisiana flare.”