Songs of the season greeted the Nashville community as Belmont began to ring in the Christmas holiday this past week.
Campus has been adorned with bows, wreathes and trees, but the scene wouldn’t be complete without a few carols and carefully mastered winter pieces from Belmont’s College of Music and Performing Arts.
The time-honored performance of Christmas at Belmont perfected the picturesque Nashville holiday, with the show running from Wednesday to Friday night.
“It was incredible,” said Sheri Barfoot. “We’ve always watched it on TV, and we were so excited when they said we could come to the concert venue and come to the concert.”
Barfoot, working with church choirs in the Nashville area, was invited to Christmas at Belmont to scout the venue for other Christmas concerts. Her husband, Phil Barfoot, said coming to the event was truly a display of the resilience of choirs.
“What’s great is, choirs are kind of a dying art in America. So, it’s great to see so many kids involved and keeping it alive,” said Phil Barfoot. “The variety was great, and the passion… the commitment to excellence is superb.”
Featuring 17 pieces, including two audience carols, the show captured the drive and dedication of music students across Belmont’s campus, both in ensembles and the university orchestra.
From the more select groups, such as Phoenix, to the larger Bel Canto and University Singers, each performance radiated Christmas joy and true passion from each and every student on stage.
Stacy and Josh Phillips, parents of performer Zoe Phillips, said the students went above and beyond in the work they did to pull off this production.
“My wife leaned over to me and said ‘there’s just so much talent here’… it’s so impressive. It’s emotional and moving,” said Josh Phillips.
With heartwarming, long-time favorites such as “The Christmas Song” and “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen,” the audience was captivated by the sheer level of talent in the midst of the holiday spirit.
This was especially important for the Wednesday night family and friends performance, when the microphone of a member of the Bluegrass Ensemble wasn’t loud enough to carry her voice across the room. A hush fell over the crowd as the audience leaned in to hear “Two Step ‘Round the Christmas Tree.”
Being able to share music so intimately with the audience is what makes this experience memorable for music student Nic Olivo. As a member of Phoenix, she sang “White Christmas Fantasy” as one of the closing songs of the show.
“My favorite part, honestly, is just getting to be on stage with such talented musicians and being able to make music with people who are also incredibly passionate about making music,” said Olivo. “Getting to share that joy with an audience is always really special.”
The night drew to a close with a mass choir rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear,” displaying all the voices that made Christmas at Belmont. The crowd stood out of their seats to clap for students who had dedicated their all to bringing in the Christmas season in the best way Belmont knows how.
This article was written by Katie Beth Cannon