Orchestra, music profs discuss gala goals

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Taylor Gilchrist

The Florida Southern College Music Department is preparing for the Annual Christmas Gala, which will be held on Dec. 8. 

The Christmas Gala is an annual tradition that celebrates the FSC Music Department and the Christmas season, and will be recorded live. Dr. Kira Omelchenko, the orchestra director at Florida Southern College, said that the community can look forward to performances from the whole department as well as performance by Florida Southern dance majors and minors. 

 “It is our way of bringing the department together and we treat it as like a gift for the community,” Omelchenko said. The Christmas Gala will highlight student talents and feature Christmas music from around the world and in different arrangements.  The audience can look forward to classic, beloved Christmas carols, holiday music of different cultures and recent holiday favorites, she said. 

The Gala’s purpose is to celebrate everyone through teamwork and collaboration. “It is more than just the notes on the page,” Omelchenko said. “It really is a collaboration which I think is a life skill and I look forward to collaborating with the FSC dancers.”

The Christmas Gala is almost entirely student-run, Professor Mark Thomsen said. There will be about 160 students involved in the whole performance. Along with the FSC Symphonic Band, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir and the Symphony Orchestra, there will also be a number of small chamber ensembles.

The Gala features a large number of ensembles and requires the teamwork of the whole department to allow for an efficient performance. It is not an easy production.

“Since it is the holidays is it hard to enjoy the music and is easy to stress out before the performance. The Gala is a fast turnaround” Dr. Omelchenko said. 

The performers have to build an endurance for the two long Gala performances; many FSC students perform in more than one capacity. 

“The most difficult part of the Christmas Gala is performing in multiple ensembles,” Shanequa Eberhart, a Cello Performance major at FSC said. The audience can look forward to seeing Eberhart accompanying the choir in the classic Holy Night.

The FSC Music department will produce two showings of the Gala at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office located by the Branscomb Auditorium and students may attend for free upon presentation of their ID.

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