The holidays are a time of year when people look forward to festivities shared with friends and family. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the holidays at Millersville will look a bit different.

Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, director of Glorious Sounds of the Season.

The Glorious Sounds of the Season concert began in 2006 and is now a beloved Millersville University tradition, featuring students, faculty and staff as performers. But this year, it will take on a new look: The Glorious Virtual Sounds of the Season will now instead be a series of 12 videos available to view online.

Dr. Vera Volchansky, associate professor of strings at Millersville, directs the orchestra for Glorious Sounds.

Beginning on December 1st, short videos of holiday selections will be released each day at noon. On December 12th, at noon, a 30-minute video of all-new selections performed by large ensembles, selected student groups and faculty soloists will be released that captures the energy and excitement of a typical Glorious Sounds of the Season concert.

The series of Glorious Sounds of the Season concerts is normally one of the largest fundraisers for the Tell School of Music.

The series of Glorious Sounds of the Season concerts is normally one of the largest fundraisers for the Tell School of Music with over $28,000 in music scholarship funds generated from ticket sales.  While there are no tickets required for this year’s event, organizers are asking that a donation be made that would equal the normal ticket cost for you and your family, to ensure the continued achievement of the talented and hard-working students. 

Smaller choral groups rehearsed in person with proper social distancing and PPE.

Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, who directs Glorious Sounds of the Season as well as three university ensembles, shared some of the things that make this year’s concert unique.

“The students are happy to be making music in whatever format is possible.”

“The Tell School has made available the finest in masks and other coverings to be able to safely sing and play wind instruments. Instrumental ensembles have been rehearsing primarily face-to-face in small cohorts of instrument groups in order to meet the necessary guidelines,” Gemmell said in regard to students practicing with COVID-19 restrictions. “Smaller choral groups rehearsed in person with proper social distancing and PPE, though the larger ensembles were in a more hybrid format, with many members participating over Zoom.”

“Needless to say, the students are happy to be making music in whatever format is possible,” said Gemmell, “and their positive attitudes and willingness to be flexible and cooperative, especially regarding safety measures, have been incredible!”

The filming of Glorious Sounds of the Season. Joseph Cernuto, assistant professor of music, directs the Wind Ensemble.

Gemmell feels the concert will be a way for the Marauder community to connect. “To me, it’s all about connection,” shared Gemmell, “The students connect with each other to produce the concert, the concert connects with the public to warm their hearts and bring holiday cheer and, hopefully, the general public will connect with the students and help us to raise the scholarship funds so critical to the success of our students and the health of the music program. Of course, we hope the viewing audience will also be entertained and discover some joy and happiness during these stressful and difficult times.”

Those who wish to join in the festivities can find more information about the Glorious Virtual Sounds of the Season here.

 

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