Vocalists, instrumentalists and actors at California Baptist University have rehearsed hundreds of hours over several months as they prepare for the sixth annual performance of A CBU Christmas. Over 400 talented students, faculty and staff will present “The Spirit, Songs and Story of the Season” during the Inland Empire’s premier Christmas celebration. Join CBU at three performances during the first weekend in December.
“We are excited to showcase the wealth of talent God has brought to the performing arts community at CBU and, in so doing, highlight the timeless spirit, songs and story of the season,” said Dr. Joseph Bolin, dean of the Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Performing Arts.
This year's special guest Anthony Evans, from Season 2 of The Voice, has moved audiences worldwide with his inventive arrangements of gospel music. Evans has six studio albums as a Christian singer and songwriter, including an album that charted on Billboard in April 2014.
For the first time, music and theatre students from the School of Performing Arts will collaborate on the performance, with actors portraying the Christmas story. Additionally, multiple ensembles from the School of Performing Arts will join forces to create the festival choir and orchestra and perform a variety of Christmas songs, representing stylistic genres from the ’60s to the present.
"The performance has traditionally focused on music and song," said Tom Brooks, the director of commercial music studies. "The addition of actors will enhance the presentation of the true meaning of Christmas. The audience will really enjoy this addition."
A CBU Christmas is a world-class production that creates an emotional experience showcasing the true meaning of Christmas, the breadth of the School of Performing Arts and the talent possessed by students in the music and theatre programs. The program is rooted in CBU’s belief that each person has been created for a unique purpose and performance is one way to glorify God and tell others about the true meaning of Christmas.
Since its inception in 2016, more than 1,500 CBU students and faculty have performed in A CBU Christmas. Each year, special guests have joined the performance, including renowned artists who have performed all over the world. These include Grammy-winner Alan Parsons, concert violinist Chloe Trevor and opera tenor Bruce Sledge.
A CBU Christmas is one of a five-part series of performances by the School of Performing Arts for the 2023-24 theatre season. This year, the school is performing A CBU Christmas, plus two theatrical performances and two musicals. This past fall, CBU performed Frankenstein on October 13. November 17-19, CBU will perform Dietrich & Maria, a musical based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Next spring, the school will perform Murder on the Orient Express followed by the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
A CBU Christmas will be held on the CBU campus at the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center, recently named in honor of the Fowler’s who made a historic gift to the university. The Fowler Events Center also hosts CBU’s D-1 basketball teams, which began their season November 6.
Tickets for A CBU Christmas are available for purchase for $15/general admission and $5/children. Group sales of 25 tickets or more are available for the discounted price of $7.50/ticket.
A CBU Christmas
When: Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., Dec. 3 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.
Where: Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center, California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA 92504
Tickets are available now at CBUChristmas.com