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Arkansas State says "thanks," with annual Holiday Spectacular


JONESBORO -- To celebrate the beginning of the holiday season, Arkansas State University’s Office of University Advancement presented its 11th annual ‘Holiday Spectacular’ to more than 900 supporters in Fowler Center’s Riceland Hall on Sunday, December 2, 2012.

Dr. Deidra (Dee Dee) Hudson, wife of A-State’s Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson, welcomed the attendees back to the A-State campus for what has become an annual holiday tradition that showcases a broad array of student talent.

“Our greatest resources are our students, who go on to represent the university as alumni,” she said. “We are honored to feature their diverse talent, and it is a pleasure for us to present to our friends and supporters the talents and quality of these A-State artists.”

Additionally, she gave an update of the progress at the Jonesboro campus, including the Red Wolves’ Sun Belt Championship win on Saturday, and thanked the audience for their support of the university.

“Privately funded scholarships, to which many of you contribute, make such a difference in the lives of A-State students.,” she noted. “Through events like this one, we want to continue to let our supporters know how much we appreciate them.”

The audience also heard from A-State scholarship recipients Japhanie Gray, a sophomore Radio-TV major from Blytheville, Taylor Mason, a sophomore exercise science major and Jennifer Ulloa, an undeclared major, both from Jonesboro.

“My scholarships have helped me pursue my dreams,” said Mason, who is also a Red Wolves football team member. “Scholarship support gives me the ability to concentrate more on my studies and worry less about financing my education.”

Outstanding students from Arkansas State voice and musical groups performed during the afternoon. Led by Dr. Neale Bartee, ASU director of orchestral activities, the University Concert Orchestra played “The Bells of Christmas,” arranged by Bob Krogstad; and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” arranged by John Whitney.

Bartee also led the Orchestra with the Combined Choirs to perform the “Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah,” by Handel.

Dr. Dale Miller, director of ASU choral activities, directed the Concert Choir in singing “E’en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come,” by Paul O. Manz; the Women’s Choir in “Jingle Bells (Sort Of),” arranged by Jay Althouse; the Men’s Choir in “Mary Sat a-Rockin’,” by Greg Gilpin; and the Combined Choirs in “Baroque Christmas Festival,” arranged by Audrey Snyder.

Led by Dr. Tim Oliver, director of bands, the Wind Ensemble played “Rocky Point Holiday,” by Ron Nelson; “Salvation is Created,” by Tschesnokov; and “Sleigh Ride,” by Leroy Anderson.

The Grand finale, led by the Wind Ensemble and University Choirs, Dr. Brian Henkelmann as organist and Dr. Dale Miller as song leader, included an audience sing-along of “Joy to the World,” arranged by John Bartsch.

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