On Saturday, Dec. 7, the SHSU Symphony Orchestra will usher in the holiday entertainment season with its annual Winter Concert set for 7:30 p.m. at the Killinger Auditorium in SHSU's Criminal Justice Center.

The performance will mark the 55th anniversary of the first SHSU symphony concert performed on Dec. 7, 1941.

"The concert will honor an anniversary of real significance to us," said Carol Smith, SHSU Symphony director. "It will be a fitting salute to all that has gone before it."

Though not billed as a "Christmas show," the hour-long performance will conclude with a full-orchestral arrangement of "Greensleeves" and a medley of Yuletide favorites.

The Winter Concert opens with "Intrada," an original composition written for brass choir and percussion by Newton Stranberg, a member of the SHSU music faculty. The three-part selection, which moves from a slow, soft opening into a fanfare of brass, includes a chorale for strings from the traditional Christmas carol, "From Heaven on High."

The "Intrada" performance will feature guest conductor Diane Hilbert, another SHSU music faculty member.

"Estampie Natalis," a piece for strings, percussion and solo flute written by Vaclav Nelhybel, is the second selection in Saturday night's program.

Following Nelhybel's work, two outstanding SHSU violists, sophomore Ryan Wicker and freshman Cynthia Simpkins will be the featured soloists in a performance of Georg Phillipp Tellmann's "Concerto for Two Violas and String Orchestra in G Major."

"It is quite an accomplishment for students that young to be performing with one of the major ensembles as soloists," Smith said. "They have both done very well under the tutelage of our outstanding viola teacher, Joy Plesner."

The composition is Tellmann's only double-viola concerto.

Next on the program, "Greensleeves," a tune widely associated with Christmas, will be presented in "an absolutely beautiful full-orchestra arrangement" by Alfred Reed.

A full dose of Yuletide spirit concludes the performance as the SHSU orchestra presents Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival." This medley of holiday favorites includes portions of "O Come All Ye Faithful, "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," "Joy to the World," "Deck the Halls," and "Silent Night."

Tickets are $5 and may be purchased at the door on the day of the event. Senior citizen tickets $3 and SHSU students and children under 12 are admitted free.


A number of musical theatre, music, dance and drama events will mark the holiday season.

"A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley," will be presented by the Department of Theatre and Dance at 8 p.m. Dec. 4-7 and 2 p.m. Dec. 7 in the University Theatre Center. Tickets are $7 and may be purchased through the SHSU Theatre Center ticket office at 294-1339. Student and senior citizen tickets are $5. Group tickets may be purchased in blocks of 20 at $5 each.

The Victor Herbert musical "Babes in Toyland" will be performed by the professional American Family Theater touring company at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Johnson Coliseum. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for SHSU students and children 12 and under. Call 294-1740 for tickets and information.

A major portion of one of the season's most popular entertainment events, "The Nutcracker Ballet," will be performed at 8 p.m. Dec. 11-12 in the dance studio theatre in the Old Men's Gym. The 40-minute production will include a summary of Act 1 and the entire Act II, which includes many of the ballet's most popular dances. A limited number of tickets are available at $3 each. Call 294-1875 for reservations.

An upcoming music event which does not have a holiday theme is the Concerto Festival Monday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Killinger Auditorium. The festival is free to Friends of Music and students. Tickets are $5. Donations to the John Paul Endowed Scholarship will be accepted during the Concerto Festival. Call 294-1360 for information.


The 76th Annual Tree of Light ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday outside the west entrance of the Administration Building at Sam Houston State University.

Departments and student organizations are invited to donate non-perishable food items to benefit the Good Shepherd Mission and toys to be contributed to the Safety Organizations of Walker County Toys for Tots project.

Dr. Bobby K. Marks, Sam Houston president, will officially open the holiday season by lighting the tree. Hot chocolate and hot wassail will be served.

Additional activities will include seasonal music by the University Chorale, which will also lead group carols. The Proud African American Youth Gospel Choir, Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Freshman Leadership organization, and International Hispanic Association will also perform.


An Evening with Paul Ruffin fund-raising event for the SHSU Department of English is scheduled for 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Walker Education Center auditorium of the Sam Houston Memorial Museum complex.

Ruffin, professor of English at SHSU, is director of the Writing Option and founding editor of "The Texas Review" and "Texas Review Press." He has published four collections of poetry and a highly-acclaimed book of short stories and has edited or co-edited several anthologies.

Ruffin has published over 600 individual poems and approximately 50 stories in journals, magazines and anthologies/texts and writes a column for the Huntsville Item.

Ruffin has been called "a masterful storyteller" and "rare lyricist" by X. J. Kennedy, "a poet of rare generosity and compassion and courage" by WIllie Morris, and said to be "worth anybody's time, to read and learn from," by James Dickey.

Tax-deductible donations of $15 per person, or more, will be accepted at the door. Those attending or who donate but cannot attend will receive an autographed copy of "Circling," Ruffin's latest collection of poems, the latest issue of "The Texas Review" and two books of choice published by "The Texas Review."

There will be a reception after the reading. Call 294-3869 for information.


Dr. Mary Evelyn Collins, Debbi Hatton and Dr. Terry M. Thibodeaux of the Speech Communication program participated recently in the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association (SCA) in San Diego.

Thibodeaux, program coordinator, is a member of the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA) Executive Council.

Collins, associate professor of speech, is a member of the SSCA executive council and represented the SSCA on the SCA legislative council. She also participated in a program on careers and submitted a paper entitled "Class Mentoring as an Alternative to or Preparation for an Internship."

Hatton, instructor in speech communication, submitted a paper entitled "Guiding the Vessel Through Uncharted Waters: Celebrating Diversity Among Opportunities."


The Mystical Landscape Series of photographer Ray Carofano will be on display through Dec. 15 in the Level 3 Gallery of the Dan Rather Communications Building. Gallery hours are 8-6 Mondays through Fridays. The public is invited and there is no admission fee.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak

Dec. 1, 1996