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'Christmas at DePaul' brings holiday spirit to campus

By Colleen Connolly
On December 23, 2011

DePaul celebrated the holiday season by hosting its fifth annual "Christmas at DePaul."

The musical event centered on a retelling of the birth of Christ and was held at St. Vincent de Paul Parish earlier this month.

A wide array of musicians and singers from the DePaul and Chicago communities participated, including the DePaul Community Chorus, DePaul music students and the Chicago Children's Choir.

Josephine Lee, president of the Chicago Children's Choir, presided as the conductor, which she has done every year since the event's first year of production.

"Things are tweaked every year, but the story is the same," Associate Vice President and Assistant University Secretary Karen Cullen said. Cullen served on the steering committee for "Christmas at DePaul."

Little was changed from years past, including the successful turnout. Cullen said attendance is roughly the same every year.

"We filled every possible space, but we still had a long waiting list of people to get in," she said.

In the spirit of Christmas, the tickets were free to the public, although a donation to the St. Vincent de Paul Parish Food Pantry was required. President of DePaul University Rev. Dennis Holtschneider, C.M., emphasized the importance of the donations in a letter to attendees.

"‘Christmas at DePaul' is an opportunity to fulfill God's promise on that holy night of peace and goodwill to all by ministering to the human needs of our community," he wrote.

Cullen said the high attendance each year is a testament to the talent of the performers. The members of the choruses came from different parts of Chicago and have very different musical backgrounds, which created a unique group of performers.

One of the only groups made up of solely DePaul students was the DePaul Orchestra, an audience favorite. The orchestra participates in the event every year.

"The DePaul Orchestra group is fantastic," Cullen said.

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