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Laura Bell Bundy to Host Annual ‘Christmas at Belmont’ Holiday Concert on NPT, PBS

Schermerhorn performance to be nationally broadcast starting Dec. 22

Laura Bell Bundy will host the 2011 "Christmas at Belmont" concert.

Hosted by country artist and Tony-nominated Broadway star Laura Bell Bundy, and taped at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, Tennessee, nearly 700 Belmont University student musicians will join the Belmont School of Music faculty and the Nashville Children¹s Choir for “Christmas at Belmont.” The annual production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites will air on PBS stations nationwide beginning Thursday, December 22. Please check local listings to confirm air dates and times. Nashville Public Television [NPT-Channel 8] will air “Christmas at Belmont” on Thursday, December 22 at 8 p.m. (CST) and re-broadcast the concert on Christmas Day at 7 p.m. (CST).   

This year’s edition of “Christmas at Belmont” features the University Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theatre, Jazz Ensemble and Bluegrass Ensemble, as well as a mass choir of 600 voices. The performance includes both classic sacred holiday music such as “The First Noel” and “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen” as well as festive seasonal songs such as “Carol of the Bells” and “We Need a Little Christmas,” to name a few.

“‘Christmas at Belmont’ is an amazing opportunity to showcase Belmont University’s world-class School of Music in front of a national audience,” said Belmont University President Bob Fisher. “We’re incredibly grateful that this partnership with NPT puts our talented students and faculty in living rooms across the country. It’s also an honor to welcome Laura Bell Bundy as host of ‘Christmas at Belmont.’ Her diverse vocal skills as both a Broadway performer and country singer will offer a perfect complement to the variety of our student ensemble performances.”

The native Kentucky performer has done it all, from performing on the nationally televised Academy of Country Music Awards and hosting the Country Music Association’s “45th Annual CMA Awards” pre-telecast to the lights of Broadway – where she received a Tony nomination for her role as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde  – and acting in various film and TV roles including a lead role in Country Music Television’s “To the Mat” and a recurring role on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother,” to writing and recording music. Bundy released her debut country music album, Achin’ and Shakin’, in 2010 under the Mercury Records label, which featured the hit single “Giddy On Up.” She has just finished writing and recording her sophomore album produced by Nathan Chapman which is now scheduled for an early 2012 release.

Dr. Cynthia Curtis, dean of Belmont’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, noted, “We are delighted that through the efforts of NPT and our generous sponsors, we can share the talents of Belmont students and faculty with a national audience. Having Laura Bell Bundy as host of ‘Christmas at Belmont’ is a tremendous coup for the event! She brings not only her varied talents as a performer both on Broadway and in country music, but also serves as an outstanding  musical role model for our students.”

The performance and taping of “Christmas at Belmont” returns for the third time to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, fully restored after the historic Nashville floods of May 2010 threatened its very survival. The Schermerhorn, which opened in 2006, is one of the few venues in the world featuring natural lighting and state-of-the-art acoustics, including motorized acoustic drapes and an acoustical isolation joint that encircles the entire concert hall and prevents sound waves traveling into or out of the hall.

“To be back at the Schermerhorn, when only a year ago we worried about it vitality after the floods, will truly be joyous,” said Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT, which has won 33 Midsouth Emmy® awards since 2001. “Belmont’s talented students and faculty always make for a magnificent broadcast and a highlight of PBS’ holiday programming. It’s an honor to bring Belmont, the Schermerhorn, and ultimately Nashville, to public television viewers throughout the nation.”

The Alvin and Sally Beaman Foundation and the Jack C. Massey Foundation serve as underwriters for “Christmas at Belmont.”

**There are no seats available for the live television taping of this event on Mon., Dec. 5. Media interested in covering the event should contact Greg Pillon, Belmont’s director of communications, at 615-460-6645 for information on filming at the dress rehearsal that afternoon.**

About Nashville Public Television
Nashville Public Television is available free and over the air to nearly 2.2 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, and is watched by more than 600,000 households every week. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive telecommunications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.

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