W&L students deliver music, merriment at annual Holiday Pops Concert

The concert brought together student conductors and five ensembles


Kristina Ayers, ‘25, conducts the Glee Club. Photo courtesy of the Washington and Lee Facebook

Chas Chappell, Staff Writer

Students in Washington and Lee’s music department came together on Dec. 5 and 6 to perform holiday-themed tunes. 

Each ensemble delivered their own genre of holiday cheer.  

Two choral groups opened the show. The Glee Club, the tenor and bass ensemble, sang “The Boar’s Head Carol,” a secular 13th-century song. Cantatrici, the soprano and alto ensemble, performed “The Little Babe,” a 20th-century canon.

Later in the show, the groups came together to sing three additional carols, including a song called “Salmo 150.” 

Sarah Gabrielle Lynch, ’24, conducted the piece and found it “very different stylistically” from her previous conducting experiences. She added that conducting the piece “presented some really fun challenges and new experiences that I’ve enjoyed exploring with the choir.” 

Lynch is a student in the Choral Conducting Mentorship Program (CCMP), which gives undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct university ensembles. The Holiday Pops Concert serves as CCMP students’ final grade for the semester. 

The orchestral and wind ensembles were conducted by students within the CCMP’s sister program, the Instrumental Conducting Mentorship Program (ICMP).

The University Orchestra  performed pieces reminiscent of the winter season, including David Bobrowitz’s “A Forest Snowfall.” The orchestra also performed a piece called “Winter is Coming,” a Game of Thrones medley arranged by Duncan Hart, ’24.

The Jazz Ensemble performed lively holiday classics, like Bob Theile’s “What a Wonderful World” and Ross Bagdasarian’s “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).” 

Eric Bazile, ’25, a saxophone player in the Jazz Ensemble, attributes the band’s success to the collaborative spirit instilled by Director Terry Vosbein. 

“Vosbein is a fun and experienced guy, and he often encourages us to freely express ourselves through the music and improv,” Bazile said. “Everyone in the band is very accepting, so it’s easy for me to be myself during rehearsals and concerts.”

The concert was also a charity event. In lieu of payment, tickets could be reserved via non-perishable food donations, all of which went directly to Washington and Lee’s Campus Kitchen.