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Livingstone puts on holiday concert
'Miracle on Monroe Street' is Dec. 8
Published Thursday, November 21, 2013 9:14 am
by Laurie D. Willis

SALISBURY – Tickets for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall are going for as $271 online, but you don’t have to go to The Big Apple.

On Dec. 8, Livingstone College music and theater students will perform “Miracle on Monroe Street,” a Christmas concert with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra and a live nativity scene. The performance will be held at Varick Auditorium at 5 p.m. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children ages 12 and under and for senior citizens and free for Livingstone students with valid identification. 

“Each year we try to produce a Christmas concert that’s worthy of the reason we celebrate the season, that’s worthy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Livingstone Music and Theater Department Chair DaVaughn Miller said. “But to say we’ve outdone ourselves this year is a gross understatement.”

“We’ve had some nice Christmas concerts in the past, but I’m confident this year’s performance will far exceed nice,” Livingstone President Jimmy Jenkins said. 

“For a very nominal fee, patrons will be treated to a fantastic show. And before the concert, the college is demonstrating benevolence in a way that truly represents what Christmas is all about.”

Before the concert, Livingstone faculty and staff will serve a Christmas meal to 25 families in the school’s Events and Hospitality Center. After the meal, toys will be provided for the children and two lucky recipients will receive scholarships to obtain a one-year culinary arts certificate through the college’s Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts Program, run by hospitality industry veteran Vivian Ray. The two winners will be chosen, in part, based on their essays explaining what being awarded a free year of culinary arts training would mean to them and their families.

Last year, Livingstone faculty and staff provided dinner for several families at the Events and Hospitality Center and sent them home with meals they simply needed to reheat two days later on Thanksgiving Day. 

Rebecca Pendergrass was one of the scholarship recipients at last year’s Thanksgiving Extravaganza, and nowadays she’s getting rave reviews at The Country Club of Salisbury where she’s worked as a line cook since early August. 

She will serve as the head chef for Livingstone’s Christmas dinner and also speak briefly at the event.

“I just hope whoever wins the scholarship takes advantage of it the same way I have,” Pendergrass said. “I hope they take it by the horns and run with it.”

Pendergrass credits the culinary arts program at Livingstone, in part, to her success. Originally from Georgia, she said her specialty is soul food but she also enjoys cooking Italian cuisine. She said if she wasn’t enrolled in Livingstone’s culinary arts certificate program she’d probably be doing hair and makeup – but she’d much rather be working with food.

“My ultimate goal is to be an executive chef in my own establishment,” Pendergrass said. “Of course, I know that’s a long-term goal.”

In the meantime, she’s looking forward to the Christmas dinner at Livingstone and the concert that will follow it. After the concert, a tree lighting ceremony will be held on campus, for which ornaments can be purchased for a nominal fee through the Office of Institutional Advancement. Proceeds will help cover the cost of the Christmas dinner. 

Miller said having performances by the institution’s theater and music students, accompanied by the Salisbury Symphony, guarantees the Christmas Concert will be a big hit. He’s been working in conjunction with Director of Bands Sidney C. Sessoms and theater arts instructor Michael Connor to finalize the show.

“Livingstone faculty and staff are working diligently to ensure this year’s Christmas Concert is memorable and sets the tone for what we’re all about here at Livingstone College,” Jenkins said. “I often tell our students, faculty and staff that to whom much is given much is required. We’re delighted to be able to put on such a grand show for the citizens of Salisbury and people from neighboring cities and towns, and we’re truly grateful to be able to provide a Christmas dinner and toys for about two dozen families.”

Want to go?

What: “Miracle on Monroe Street” at Livingstone College

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, at 5 p.m.

Where: Varick Auditorium on the campus of Livingstone College

Cost: $8 for adults; $4 for children 12 and under and senior citizens; free for Livingstone students with valid ID

To purchase Christmas tree ornaments, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at (704) 216-6044



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