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Briar Cliff's Choir will present annual Christmas concert

November 19, 2018 | by Liv Mason

“A Briar Cliff Christmas” is the name of the annual Briar Cliff holiday choral celebration that will take place on Saturday, December 1. The event will be held in Our Lady of Grace Chapel on the campus of Briar Cliff University.

According to Dr. Sean Burton, Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Director of the Briar Cliff Jazz Ensemble at Briar Cliff University, the event is one that many Siouxland community families have enjoyed for years. “We have so many families that attend and this year we will have two concerts in the same day,” says Burton.

Burton conducts the performance with Briar Cliff’s very own choir as well as Siouxland Choral Artists, and the Chamber Orchestra. This year there will be solo performances by soprano Shannon Burton, tenor Michael Vlach and organist Jeremy Owens.

The concert is something that the community looks forward to every year, says Olivia Matz, a senior Biology major and choir member at Briar Cliff.

“The Christmas choir concert is meant to put everyone in the mood for Christmas and give the choir members a chance to sing with an orchestra,” says Matz.

After being a member of the choir for nearly seven full semesters, Matz emphasizes the hard work that they put in, saying it all comes to a head when it is showcased to the community through the Christmas concert.

“It is quite the experience to sing with and even listen to an orchestra instead of just a piano. There are so many people involved with this concert and you can tell the effort that went into it. Not only do we meet for an hour every day to practice, but we have several two-hour evening practices to be able to work with the orchestra,” says Matz.

Matz is not the only choir member that feels this way. Dillon Reynolds, a senior business major at Briar Cliff University speaks volumes of their hard work. “This was my first semester joining the Briar Cliff choir and the amount of dedication the choir puts in on a weekly basis is truly incredible. Briar Cliff is making marks in so many great and positive ways.”

According to Matz, they have had nothing but positive feedback and support this semester. “Briar Cliff is not only doing well in athletics but also excelling in the fine arts, and that is what we want to show everyone. This is one of the main concerts that outside families attend due to the festive nature.”

“A Briar Cliff Christmas” will take place December 1 and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.; both performances are free and open to the public for attendance.

Members of Briar Cliff choir singing at previous holiday concert.

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