Eastern Oregon University > Current News > La Grande performers unite for 29th Annual Holiday Music Festival

La Grande performers unite for 29th Annual Holiday Music Festival

La Grande performers unite for 29th Annual Holiday Music Festival

Nov. 22, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. –  La Grande will see the return of The Observer’s annual Holiday Music Festival sponsored by Koza Family Dental Care after last year’s cancellation, with the 29th annual event set for Dec. 4 and 5 at the Eastern Oregon University’s McKenzie Theatre.

The festival invites community members and EOU ensembles to play a collection of classic holiday hits from all over the world in a gala style of short performances.

“It’s a musical celebration of the holidays. It’s various types of music, there’s a little something for everybody. It’s community members and EOU ensembles. This year it will be done in one act,” said Professor of Music and director of the EOU Chamber Choir Peter Wordelman. 

In total, 120 performers from the EOU Chamber Choir, Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, 45th Parallel Ensemble, African Drumming Group and EOU Fiddle Ensemble will play a mix of new music and classics .

“My favorite part is that we get to do it, it’s the same answer you’re getting from everybody. It’s nice that we can do the festival since we missed the festival last year,” Wordelman said.

The festival performance lasts just over one hour and will feature a brief intermission. 

“The community will say they’ve come to the festival for 20 years or 25 years or every single one of them. So it becomes part of their holiday season rituals that they traditionally come to this event, and so it has tremendous community support,” Wordelman said.

About 16 students, four organisers and 12 movers work behind the scenes to keep the performance seamless.  

The EOU Foundation has partnered with the production and is accepting donations. All money raised from donations and ticket sales will fund EOU Music programs and scholarships. 

“All of the money that’s raised at the festival goes into music funds in the EOU Foundation, and over the 30-year span, not only with this festival but otherwise, we’ve raised well over $600,000,” Wordelman said. 

The production is also supported by two local businesses alongside The Observer, Koza Family Dental Care is the main sponsor and Fitzgerald Flowers provides all stage decorations

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The 29th Annual Holiday Music Festival will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 4 and 3 p.m., Dec. 5 in McKenzie Theatre, located in Loso Hall. The same performances are scheduled for both days. The theater will be filled to three-fourths capacity to allow for social distancing, and face coverings are required for all attendees. 

Admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and EOU students. Tickets are available at Red Cross Drug or online at eou.edu/music. Advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended. For more information contact Peter Wordelman at 541-962-3352 or pwordelm@eou.edu.