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Author: Jessie Bauters

The Holiday Festival: By the numbers

For almost three-quarters of a century, the Holiday Festival has thrilled Boulder audiences and ushered in the beginning of the holiday season. We looked into the history of the festival and found some fun facts that give some context to this merry tradition.

Since the earliest archived performance in 1945, the College of Music’s beloved December tradition has gone by three different names: “The Festival of Christmas,” simply “The Festival,” and starting in the 1990s, the “Holiday Festival” as we know it today.

Over the past several years, roughly 300 students have performed in the concert, making four different locations at Macky Auditorium into their own festive stages: The stage itself, the aisles, the second-floor loge and opera boxes, and the gallery entrance to the auditorium.

They’ve performed works ranging from traditional Christmas carols to songs sung during Hanukkah to songs that mark the celebration of life Kwanzaa, but the most-performed work over the past 75 years has been “Silent Night” (followed closely by Handel’s “Messiah”!).

Enjoy the annual Holiday Festival in Macky Auditorium Dec. 6-8. Tickets start at $20.

Celebrate the holidays with CU Presents! View all events

It's a Wonderful Life (2019)

Nov 15-17, 2019

It's a Wonderful Life (2019)

An opera by Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer
Full price: $15-$46

Based on the 1946 Frank Capra movie of the same name (by permission of Paramount Licensing Inc.) and “The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Dor...

A Broadway Christmas Carol (2019)

Nov 15-Dec 8, 2019

A Broadway Christmas Carol (2019)

A musical created by Kathy Feininger
Full price: $24

What the dickens happened to Scrooge? He sings (show tunes), he dances (time steps and classic Fosse), he turns into a ham (and we’re not talkin...

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy (2019)

Dec 17, 2019

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy (2019)

A Celtic Family Christmas
Full price: $22-$87

The holidays truly become a family affair when married duo Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy—two of the globe's best and brightest fiddle play...