Bluefield College to Host Second Christmas Concert of the Season - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bluefield College to Host Second Christmas Concert of the Season

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Bluefield College will host its second Christmas concert of the season, a Christmas music and drama celebration, entitled "Christmas at Bluefield: Amahl and the Night Visitors," Friday and Saturday, December 6-7 at 7:30 p.m. each night in Harman Chapel.
         
Known as the college's Christmas gift to the Greater Bluefield community, "Christmas at Bluefield" is open and free to the public as an annual celebration of the birth of Christ through music, drama, multimedia and scripture. The production will feature students and professors from BC's Music and Theatre departments, along with voices and accompaniment from the community.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for the campus and community at-large to come together to worship the Christ child," said Bryant Moxley, head of BC's Department of Music. "As we share our music, we pray that God will bless all those in attendance with a fresh awareness of the significance of the child whose birth we celebrate."
"Amahl and the Night Visitors" was written by Italian-American opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti in 1951 as a commission for the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). It debuted as a television broadcast on NBC on Christmas Eve in 1951 and since has become arecognized part of the stage repertoire of the holiday season.
The opera tells the story of a young, disabled shepherd boy, Amahl, his mother, and their miraculous meeting with the three kings who make an unscheduled stop along the road in their journey to see the Christ child in Bethlehem.
           
"This is an opera for children, because it tries to recapture my own childhood," said Menotti at the time he wrote the opera. "When I was a child, I lived in Italy, and in Italy we have no Santa Claus. I suppose that Santa Claus is much too busy with American children to be able to handle Italian children, as well. Our gifts were brought to us by the three kings, instead."
Menotti said he used memories from the nights he and his brother used to wait up for the three kings to further develop "Amahl and the Night Visitors."
"No matter how hard my little brother and I tried to keep awake at night to catch a glimpse of the three royal visitors, we would always fall asleep just before they arrived," recalled Menotti. "But, I do remember hearing them. I remember the weird cadence of their song in the dark distance. I remember the brittle sound of the camels' hooves crushing the frozen show, and I remember the mysterious tinkling of their silver bridles."
Bluefield College's production of "Amahl" will be presented under the stage and design direction of Charles Reese, chair of BC's Theatre Department, and the music direction of Dr. Benjamin Thorburn, professor of music. Nationally known pianist and local church music director Harold Brown will offer accompaniment.
The character of Amahl will be played by Brian Fisher, a student at Graham Middle School. The role of Amahl's mother will be played by BC music/theatre graduate Mindy Blume. The three kings will be played by BC music students DeMarco King and Jonathan Penn and respected Bluefield tenor Jim Bartlett. The chorus of shepherds will be portrayed by Bluefield College's elite auditioned vocal ensemble, Variations.
A reception hosted by BC president Dr. David Olive will follow each performance and will include hot cider, coffee and holiday treats. For more information, please contact the Bluefield College Office of Public Relations by email at bcnews@bluefield.edu or by phone at 276-326-4212.

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