As we look forward to the holidays and note how different it will be, the School of Music wanted to keep the one tradition everyone looks forward to, The Georgia State University Gala Holiday Concert.
The gala, now approaching its 23rd year, was the brainchild of Professor Emeritus of Music John Haberlen. When he started at Georgia State in 1973, he always envisioned a holiday show to showcase the talented students and faculty. However, due to scheduling and lack of facilities, it would be difficult, almost impossible to do. But in 1995, when Dr. Haberlen was appointed Director of the School of Music, he never forgot that idea he had, and he made the gala one of his priorities. In the following years, the School of Music was in a new building. The schedule changed, and in 1997, it was the perfect opportunity to present a “musical gift” to the Georgia State and the Atlanta community.
“The concert created a fitting prelude for the holiday season and memories for all involved,” says Dr. Haberlen of its origin. “Various musical tempi, textures and moods were achieved with our Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, soloists, and choral groups. We had more than 200 performers.”
Twenty-three years later, we will not be sitting in the lovely Rialto Theater as we historically have. However, we will still see our children, grandchildren, colleagues, and alumni virtually as we reflect on our best holiday performances over the past ten years. In this holiday compilation, you will see performances by alumna and Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition winner Gabrielle Beteag with the Orchestra and Georgia Boy Choir and alumna Melissa Joseph and instructor Luther Enloe performing “Sweet Little Baby Jesus Boy,” and much more! We hope you can join us Saturday, December 12, at 7:00 pm on youtube.com/gsusom.
(Update: A recording of the premiere Holiday Gala performance is now on the same YouTube page.)
John Haberlen is an Emeritus Professor of Music and served as Director of the School of Music from 1996 to 2007. Before he was appointed Director, Dr. Haberlen served as Associate Dean for the Fine Arts in the College of Arts and Sciences and as Director of Choral Activities for more than 20 years.