PLATTSBURGH — Nothing sets the mood for the holidays like the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir’s Soulful Christmas Celebration.
Sunday’s concert features special guest the Peru Apple Crate Ensemble (Peru Intermediate School) in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium.
“They are a fourth- through sixth-grade chorus,” said Dr. Dexter Criss, the Gospel Choir’s artistic director.
“Every year, they put on their own holiday plays or skits. It’s 100 singers and musicians. My kids have both come through it. That should be a lot of fun.”
“We’re singing some selections from our holiday show, ‘Mickey’s Christmas Carol,’” said Pam Lavin, who co-directs the Apple Crate Ensemble with Megan Yonteff and Chris Urban.
“They will be singing, dancing and playing classroom instruments. Our ensemble is 120, so half is going so we will have about 50.”
The Gospel Choir will perform classics such as “Come All Ye Faithful” with a gospel flair.
The choir’s nine selections include “Joyful, Joyful” from “Sister Act II” and “Carol of the Bells.”
“There are three songs that are more gospel than Christmas and more Christmas than gospel,” Criss said.
Sunday’s selections will also include a rendition of “Holle, Holle, Holle,” a Caribbean Christmas carol.
“There are choir members from the Caribbean,” Criss said. “They are really excited about it. It represents their songs. Apple Crate will sing that with us. That’s a finale song. It’s really good.”
The finale will feature a steel pan to add that signature island sound.
“I can’t play that,” Criss said. “I can’t figure where the beat is. I try to emulate it. It’s a disaster. My students think it’s funny. It looks kind of simple rhythmically. You just can’t do it. You have to disconnect from what you know. It will be a great tune to end the concert with.”
The two-hour concert is a fundraiser for the Gospel Choir.
“Those funds help to support the different things we want to do,” Criss said.
“Last year, the choir went to St. Martin’s and traveled to different places. We’re kind of open where we’re going on tour this year. We’re leaning toward Toronto or New York City during spring break. We haven’t totally made up our minds but will over winter break.”
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IF YOU GO
WHAT: "Soulful Christmas Celebration" featuring the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir with special guest the Peru Apple Crate Ensemble. Emcee Stephen Matthews.
WHEN: 4 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium, Hawkins Hall, SUNY Plattsburgh.
ADMISSION: General $12 advance and $15 at the door. Student admission $5 advance and $8 at the door. Children 2 and under free if they share seat with an adult. Tickets are available at Angell College Center Desk, Gospel Choir Office located at 128 Hawkins Hall, and North Country Cultural Center for the Arts.
WEBSITE: Online tickets can be purchased at http://soulfulchristmas2013.brownpapertickets.com