Willamette celebrates holiday season with food, music and more in December

Singing carols, sipping hot chocolate and tree-lighting are among an array of holiday activities taking place at Willamette University Dec. 2 to 9.

The celebrations include:

John Doan Victorian Christmas Concert, Dec. 2

Celebrating its 25th season at Willamette, “A Victorian Christmas with John Doan,” promises an evening of old fashioned holiday fun Dec. 2.

The event begins at 8 p.m. in Hudson Hall within the Rogers Music Center. It features a live version of Doan’s Emmy-nominated Public Broadcasting television special, which reenacts how Christmas may have been celebrated a century ago.

The show explores how the Victorians invented Christmas traditions, complete with the harp guitar, classical banjo, ukelin and other authentic instruments. The thoughtful, and often zany, performance includes audience sing-alongs and whistle alongs, an Edison phonograph and a multi-media presentation of rare archival photos showing people making their own music.

Doan is a Willamette music professor and a touring and recording artist who has appeared on radio and television across the country. He will play more than a dozen turn-of-the century instruments once popular in American parlors, on vaudeville stages and in mandolin orchestras.

Advanced tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for seniors 65 and older, children and students younger than 18. They are available at the Music Department or by calling 503-370-6255.

At the door, tickets cost $18 per person. Willamette University students, faculty and staff may acquire free tickets up to one week prior to the event, although the number is limited.

Star Trees Lighting and Holiday Concert, Dec. 3

The 15th annual Star Trees Lighting and Holiday Concert will begin with a holiday dinner and end with a free concert Dec. 3.

Dinner will be served from 4 to 7 p.m. in Goudy Commons. The menu features such mouth-watering entrees as Northwest alder-smoked roasted turkey with an Oregon ground cherry and cranberry sauce, seared Painted Hills beef tips with wild mushrooms and roasted garlic and smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese. Desserts include red velvet cup cakes, Irish cream filled cream puffs, eggnog cheesecake bites and gingerbread cookies.

No reservations are needed. The cost is $10.75 for adults, $7.50 for Willamette faculty, staff and students and $6 for 5- to 8-year-olds. Children 4 and younger eat for free if accompanied by an adult.

The star tree lighting of the Giant Sequoias will begin at 6:30 p.m. in front of Waller Hall, where free hot chocolate and cookies will be served. The Interfraternity Council will accept donations of coats and clothing at Goudy Commons and during the lighting ceremony to benefit people in need.

The five trees were planted 70 years ago by Willamette President Carl Sumner Knopf in honor of Willamette’s centennial. They are now some of the largest trees on any American campus.

The lighting ceremony will be followed by a free family concert at 7 p.m. at Smith Auditorium, sponsored by the university’s music department. The Willamette University Wind Ensemble and special guests will perform an array of seasonal music. Seating is limited.

Christmas in Hudson, Dec. 8 and 9

The Willamette University Music Department is exploring the historic roots of the Christmas season through a holiday concert Dec. 8 and 9.

The non-commercial presentation takes place in the ornately decorated Hudson Hall within the Rogers Music Center. It begins at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:45 p.m, each day.

The performance has its Willamette roots in the Lessons and Carols service created in Oxford, England. Willamette adds to the flavor by having rhetoric Professor Jeanne Clark give seasonal readings to connect the carols sung by the audience and the special feature selections performed by Male Ensemble Willamette, Voce Femminile and the Chamber Orchestra.

Tickets cost $8 (festival seating) for all ages and may be purchased Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Music Department office in the Rogers Music Center. They may be charged by phone by calling 503-370-6255.

Tickets will also be available for purchase before each concert, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the music office. Will-call ticket pickup will begin at the same time.