Each year, Belmont University offers a number of free concerts during the Christmas season, open to the Nashville community, in addition to the annual televised airing of the holiday spectacular, “Christmas at Belmont.”
The celebration kicks off with the Nashville Children’s Choir performance on Saturday, December 11 at 3 p.m. in Belmont’s McAfee Concert Hall, featuring the premiere youth choir’s renditions of traditional Christmas music. The Nashville Children’s Choir serves young singers in residence at Belmont and is part of Belmont Academy, a pre-college music program.
The Belmont Camerata, Belmont’s resident faculty chamber ensemble, will offer its annual presentation of “A Camerata Christmas” on Monday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. in McAfee Concert Hall. Individual members of the ensemble are well-known to the area as soloists in opera, recitals and with orchestra and many are familiar as principal players and members of the Nashville Symphony.
The University’s Christmas concert series will conclude with the annual Christmas Eve Carillon Concert, held on Friday, December 24 at 1 p.m. at the campus Bell Tower, located just off the corner of Belmont Blvd and Portland Ave. Continuing a tradition begun during the Ward-Belmont days, the concert features traditional Christmas music played by longtime campus carillionneur Richard Shadinger on the tower’s 42-bell carillon, one of five carillons in Tennessee.
Of course, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without the annual “Christmas at Belmont” special. A presentation of this year’s performance, hosted by Belmont University alumnus and multi-platinum recording artist Josh Turner, will premiere Monday, December 20, at 8 p.m. on NPT and PBS stations across the country, with encore broadcasts on NPT Christmas night (Saturday, December 25) at 9:30 p.m. Check local listings for additional broadcast times.
This is the 19th consecutive year “Christmas at Belmont” will be seen by a national audience on PBS. This year’s performance of “Christmas at Belmont” promises an array of traditional carols, classical masterworks and seasonal favorites in addition to selections from Turner’s new Christmas album, taped live for the first time in the newly opened Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on campus. The invitation-only concert performance features nearly 650 student musicians and School of Music faculty.