The Ogden LDS Institute of Religion’s teachers and students are hoping to “bring in the real spirit of Christmas this winter” with their Annual Christmas Spectacular, Stories for Christmas. This year’s show features nearly 300 young adults from the Institute Chorale, Choralaires and Folk Dancers, and includes choral music, dancing, drama, small ensembles and soloists.
“The Institute Christmas Spectacular has always been an event that brings the spirit of Christmas into each heart,” said Gary Delozier, the Institute Folk Dance advisor. “It is a great way to begin the month of December and a fun-filled family activity.”
The folk dances are choreographed using 13 couples, who perform the routines wearing authentic costumes from around the world. In the show, the 26 folk dancers will perform a Bavarian polka and Ukrainian dance that Delozier describes “as watching a circus because it starts off slow, then it picks up, and the dancers do stunts.”
The dancers will also perform a Hawaiian war chant, a dance the group has never done before, and their signature clog, a dance in which they are dressed as elves. As a part of the pre-show, the dancers will present a German Quadrille.
“The Quadrille is a real waltz, and it is very beautiful to watch,” Delozier said.
The choral music is performed by the Institute-sponsored choirs, Chorale and the Choralaires. Chorale is a non-auditioned choir of 175 members, and the Choralaires is an auditioned choir consisting of 75 members who sing under the direction of Jerry Simon.
The Choralaires focus on performing sacred, inspirational pieces, but are including a comedic number, titled “Various Themes on Fa-La-La,” in this year’s show.
“We will be singing sacred songs like ‘Silent Night’ as well as fun Christmas songs like ‘I am Dreaming of White Christmas,’” said Edward Poston, a member of the Choralaires. “We are hoping to bring people of all faiths to our performances and for everyone to just be able to really enjoy the evening, regardless of their faith.”
Chorale Director Alan Saunders wrote the show’s storyline, which follows a Utah pioneer family in the 1850s. The family spends time sharing Christmas stories of the past, and the children come to realize the meaning of Christmas.
“I think we all like great Christmas stories that invite the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Christ into our lives,” Saunders said. “Stories for Christmas will entertain, inspire and teach the sacred message of Christmas. All ages will be captivated with the colorful folk dancers and delight in the wonderful music of the Choralaires and Chorale.”
Stories for Christmas will be featured Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 3 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Shows will be held in the in the Austad Auditorium in the Val A. Browning Center at WSU. Suggested donations to attend the performances are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors age 60 and older, $3 for a child age 6 to 17 and $15 for a family. Matinee prices for a family are $12. Current Institute students can pick up their free student ticket at the Institute office before 12:00 p.m. on Dec. 2. Special ticket donations for those with a current military ID are $3 for adults and seniors, $2 for children and $10 for a family. A short pre-show will welcome guests as they arrive. This will begin fifteen minutes prior to each performance. For more information, students can visit the Institute’s website at www.ldsces.org/ogden or call the Institute Office at 801-621-1800.