NATCHITOCHES – Students in the Mrs. H.D. Dear Sr. and Alice E. Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University look forward to performing in the annual Christmas Gala. Taking the 31st annual show on the road to Shreveport’s Strand Theatre has added to a kick to the performer’s steps. The Gala will be performed at the Strand Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and are available at https://thestrandtheatre.com/shows/nsu-christmas-gala/ and https://capa.nsula.edu. NSU and BPCC@NSU students are admitted free, but must RSVP in advance at https://www.nsula.edu/gala/student-rsvp-to-gala-at-the-strand/ to attend.
More than 300 Northwestern State students, faculty and staff in the School of Creative and Performing Arts combine their talents to present the Gala as a kickoff to the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. Large crowds attend the Gala each year which is based on the long-running Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular. Michael Rorex is the Gala’s artistic director.
According to Rorex, the program will incorporate popular pieces from years past along with several new elements such as a newly choreographed “Hip Hop” group by Theatre and Dance faculty member Jared Doster and a new Nativity this accompanied by the NSU Men’s chorus singing an arrangement of “O Holy Night.” Musical theatre students will perform a very entertaining rendition of “Mele Kalikimaka” from the popular Christmas show “White Christmas.” The Toy Soldiers and the Rockettes will appear, performing to new numbers.
“Sharing my talents, my love for the arts, the love of Christmas and spirit of NSU is really what Gala means to me,” said D’Sherrick Williams, a sophomore dance major from Marshall, Texas.” I’m really excited to perform in such a historic theatre such as the Strand and to bring the spirit of NSU to another place so people can see more of what Natchitoches and Northwestern has to offer.
Williams portrays Joseph in the nativity scene and is a hip hopper in the hip hop number. The opportunity to be on stage is one of the things that helped him decide to attend NSU
“Having the opportunity to perform, learn hands on and advance my training as a dancer were my top priorities when looking for a school, and with NSU offering all three of these, my college selection was easier,” said Williams.
The Grand opening of the Gala is a new arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” using lots of singers, the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and handbells from the First United Methodist Church of Natchitoches.
This is the third time the Gala has gone on the road to the Strand. In previous years, the cast and crew of the Christmas Gala wowed audiences in sold out performances at the historic theatre that drew viewers from throughout north Louisiana and east Texas.
Information on NSU’s School of Creative and Performing Arts is available at https://capa.nsula.edu/.