On Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7, students of Fairfield University’s Glee Club kicked off the holiday season with the annual “‘Tis the Season” concert at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. Including everything from full-ensemble pieces, solo performances and even an appearance from Santa himself, both concerts showcased the wide array of talent on campus and reigned in as a successful celebration of the holiday season.

Headed by conductor Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell and instrumental accompanist Beth Palmer, “‘Tis the Season” continued the annual Glee Club tradition of spreading holiday cheer to families in the Fairfield community. Marking the 73rd season of Glee Club at Fairfield, the 100+ students in the club sang newer holiday tunes and paid homage to Fairfield’s past with more traditional songs.

After kicking off the show with traditional tunes such as “A Carol Fantasy” and more, the all-female a capella singing group Sweet Harmony, led by directors Ashley Kasperavich ‘20 and Christina Hennessy ‘20, took to the stage with sophomore soloist Maddie Dutilly for a rendition of “Santa Tell Me.” Accompanied with beaming background vocals and a lively beatboxing-esque tune, the group’s energetic performance rocked the Quick Center and showed that Sweet Harmony is a force to be reckoned with.

Students in the Chamber Singers group then performed renditions of “Gaudete,” “Christmas Day” and “Baby, Please Come Home” before Glee Club returned to sing “Night of Silence” and “A Choral Fantasy.” Adhering to tradition, Fairfield Golden Stags were welcomed back to stage to sing with students for a heartwarming performance of “Night of Silence,” which is a classic spin on the song “Silent Night.” Glee Club students and audience members even joined together to sing a verse of “Silent Night” during the performance, making for a moving moment from both shows.

Following a brief intermission, students abandoned their traditional concert apparel and returned to the stage in full festive attire with holiday themed shirts, sweaters, and Santa hats to sing “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” with one another. Guest violinist Darwin Shen later took to the stage to continue the holiday spirit with an emotional rendition of “White Christmas” that left audience members in awe.

The concert was then followed with a handful of spine-chilling solo performances from students Kim Fried ‘20 (“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”), Maura McFalls ‘22 (“Grown Up Christmas List”), Clarissa Rotonto ‘22 and Noah DeFeo ‘22 (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”), Isabella LeGrego ‘23 (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”), Jessica Cuntrera ‘22 (“Christmas in the Sand”) and Julia Farrell ‘20 (“Run, Run Rudolph). Engaging the audience from their first notes to their last, all of the skilled soloists put forth commendable and powerful performances at both concert outings.

The Bensonians, Fairfield’s all-male a capella group, led by directors Noah DeFeo and Ryan Hopkins ‘20, followed up the soloists with a memorable rendition of classic Christmas tunes at the lead of none other than Santa Clause. Mixing together songs such as “The 12 Days of Christmas,” “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel,” and even “Africa” by Toto, the group delivered an entertaining and hilarious performance that had audience members rolling in their seats.

Before closing the curtain for good, students and instrumental accompanists came together on stage one last time to perform “Joy to the World” for all in attendance. The performance marked not only the successful conclusion to both concerts, but also ushered in feelings of excitement and gratitude for the rest of the celebrative season ahead.

The culmination of Fairfield students, on-stage performers, alumni and family members at “Tis the Season” proved to make for emotional, memorable, and triumphant performances. Looking towards the future, Glee Club students are excited for the holidays and are thrilled to perform seasonal tunes once again at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Stratford on Sunday, Dec. 15.

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