Middle Tennessee State University is keeping up the seasonal festivities with a 24-hour marathon of the 2023 edition of its award-winning “Joys of the Season” arts showcase on True Blue TV.
The program will begin airing at noon CT Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, until noon CT Christmas Day, Dec. 25. This will mark the third year the university’s public affairs and live events TV channel has preempted its regular programming for the marathon.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue this broadcast tradition that launched last year,” said Ty Whitaker, senior manager of True Blue TV. “It’s an absolutely wonderful program that is sure to keep viewers in the holiday spirit and showcases the immense talents — including new faces — of all our wonderful students, faculty and staff who participated on camera as well as those who provided their skills behind the scenes.”
True Blue TV airs on Comcast Xfinity channels 9 and 1096; and channel 9.1 on the MTSU campus cable. It also airs as channel 195 on DTC in Alexandria; digital channel 206 on United Communications in Chapel Hill; and among the PEG offerings found on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse in Middle Tennessee. True Blue TV is also available on Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. The “Joys” show is also available to view anytime on MTSU’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel.
Put on by the College of Liberal Arts, the show highlights the work of multiple departments within the college and also serves as a special edition of university’s TV magazine show “Out of the Blue,” hosted by Dean Leah T. Lyons and Andrew Oppmann, vice president for marketing and communications.
This year’s showcase includes:
• The MTSU Steel Pan Ensemble, representing the School of Music’s Instrumental Performance Program, kicks off the performances with a mashup of “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Frosty the Snowman” arranged by Brian Mueller, music lecturer, and performed by ensemble students.
• MTSU Dance Program students perform “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” choreographed by Jade Treadwell, assistant professor and program director, and originally from “The Nutcracker” ballet. The piece depicts Clara and the Nutcracker’s encounter with the snowflakes in the Fir Forest.
• MTSU School of Music’s Jazz Combo I members play Harry Belafonte’s hit “Mary’s Boy Child” arranged by Jamey Simmons, their music professor.
• Moira Cagle and Logan Purcell, musical theatre students, sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” inspired by the Idina Menzel and Michael Bublé 2014 cover of the song. Kristi Shamburger, associate professor and interim department chair, directed the performance.
• TheMTSU Schola Cantorum performs the traditional British folk Christmas Carol “The Holly and the Ivy,” directed by Raphael Bundage, vocal performance professor and director of choral activities, and using an arrangement by H. Walford Davies.
• The MTSU Symphony Orchestra closes out the show with “Sleigh Bells” under direction from Carol Nies, associate music professor.
“Joys of the Season” first started in 2015 as an evening of live performances and art displays in Tucker Theatre to showcase the college’s performing and fine arts departments as a thank-you to the campus community, its friends and supporters.
The program took a hiatus 2020 due to the pandemic and returned in an online format in 2021, and it now boasts two years of Telly Award wins — awards that honor excellence in video and TV across all types of screens — for its 2021 and 2022 productions.
— Stephanie Wagner (Stephanie.Wagner@mtsu.edu)