'Christmas at Baylor' to air nationally Dec. 23 and 25Dec. 4, 2003
By Stephanie Schneider
The one-hour program, titled "Christmas at Baylor," is scheduled to run on national PBS stations Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. CST and on Christmas Day at 9 p.m. CST. The program will be aired frequently on KWBU throughout December.
Produced and directed by Emmy award winner Phillip Byrd, "Christmas at Baylor" features students and faculty from Baylor's School of Music. The 150-voice Baylor Choral Union and the 100-piece symphony orchestra are complemented with selections performed by the Chamber Singers and the A Cappella Choir.
Traditional songs such as "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," "Angels We Have Heard On High" and "In the Bleak Midwinter," along with non-traditional songs such as "Albinoni St. Mark's Sonata" and "Ding Dong Merrily on High," showcase the School of Music's talent and tradition. Carolers on campus serve as transitional elements in the program and allow Baylor's campus to be displayed in addition to its facilities.
Baylor venues such as Jones Concert Hall, the Armstrong Browning Library's Foyer of Mediation and the George W. Truett Theological Seminary's Piper Great Hall are shown throughout the program.
"The program has been blessed and endorsed by PBS for national showing." said Kliff Kuehl, KWBU-TV general manager. "We are predicting that 90 to 95 percent of the 350 PBS stations will run the special. 'Christmas at Baylor' is so good and so well done that there's not any reason for a station to not carry it."
Kuehl said that in Dallas and Atlanta, the program will be used as a pledge special for PBS and will be aired more frequently. Other local PBS stations have the option of picking up the program as a pledge special as well.
Plans are in the works for viewing parties in Austin, Dallas and Houston so that alumni will be able to celebrate the holiday and their Alma Mater together and to watch the special in HDTV. Baylor faculty, staff and students will be able to view "Christmas at Baylor" at screenings held Dec. 4 at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. in the SBC Theater in the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center on University Parks Drive. For more information, visit http://pr.baylor.edu/story.php?id=004730.
"Christmas at Baylor serves as an indirect promotion for Baylor that is full of joy," said Kuehl. "Millions of people across the nation will watch the program in standard broadcasting and thousands more will see it in HDTV."
Kuehl said the HDTV production indicates Baylor is a forward-thinking, high-tech institution, and over the next few years HDTV viewers will increase rapidly. The special will also bring national recognition to KWBU-TV.
For more information and for a local "Christmas at Baylor" schedule visit www.kwbu.org or www.christmasatbaylor.com.