The School of Music & Theatre at Heidelberg University isn’t letting the pandemic end a long-standing holiday tradition. This year, the SMT will offer a pair of virtual performances – Sweet Alma Home for the Holidays and Elf the Musical – available to the community to brighten the season.
Sweet Alma ‘Home for the Holidays’: A Virtual Heidelberg Christmas
SMT traditionally performs a large-scale Christmas concert – including excerpts from Handel’s Messiah – each December at the Ritz Theatre. This year, though, music and theatre students and faculty have combined their talents to produce a virtual concert, which will be available for anyone to view on YouTube. The performing ensembles recorded their pieces prior to departing campus on Nov. 20 to complete the fall semester remotely at their homes.
Viewers will enjoy holiday-themed performances by the Heidelberg Concert Choir (Greg Ramsdell, director), the Marching Band (Jon Waters, director), the Heidelberg Flute Choir, the Jazz Ensemble (Scott Kretzer, director), the Faculty Woodwind Quintet, the Heidelberg Chamber Singers (Ramsdell, director), the Hei-Notes Show Choir (David Cotter, director), the Heimonics Accapella Choir and a scene from Elf the Musical.
Messiah, in its 130th year as a Heidelberg holiday staple, still will have a prominent role in the virtual concert, featuring Angel Recitatives and Rejoice Greatly, a soprano solo by Carol Dusdieker, director of the School of Music & Theatre, with harpsichord accompaniment by Curtis King.
As is tradition, the Messiah finale will be the powerful and emotional Hallelujah Chorus. This major undertaking is a compilation of individually recorded performances by the Concert Choir, friends, family and Heidelberg alumni. The virtual choir is being organized and directed by Ramsdell.
You can view Sweet Alma ‘Home for the Holidays’: A Virtual Heidelberg Christmas below.
Elf the Musical
Heidelberg Theatre, still unable to perform for live audiences because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, was committed to giving students and audiences a fun holiday experience. So the theatre students still rehearsed Elf the Musical as planned; their performances were professionally recorded on Nov. 20-21, prior to departing campus to complete the fall semester remotely at home. The show is now available to audiences to stream at home.
Elf the Musical tells the story of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York city to find his birth father and discover his true identity Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. Elf the Musical has become a must-see family holiday production.
To stream Elf the Musical, visit gundlachtheatre.org and click on “Elf Recording Tickets” to be redirected to ShowTix4U, where you will be able to purchase your tickets. Viewers will have access for 48 hours on the ShowTix4u website after purchase. Make sure to choose email as your shipping method.
Since the performance is virtual, the theatre will utilize the honor system. Tickets are $15 or a $30 flat rate group option. There is a small service fee to watch the production.