NCCC concert guest Nick Stoppel

MATT RESNICK

Neosho County Community College is holding its first public concert of the pandemic era.

After a nearly two-year absence, the school is relaunching its band and choir for a free Christmas concert scheduled for 3 pm Sunday at the campus auditorium. Grammy award-winning artist Nick Stoppel will be making a guest appearance.

“That’s what makes the concert different from just a regular Christmas concert for Chanute,” said NCCC music instructor Alan Murray. “The opportunity to bring in someone who’s a professional gig musician.” 

Murray said he’s thrilled that the band and choir will get to perform in front of a live audience.

“The students are excited to get in front of a crowd, and the participation level has been very high,” Murray said. “Nothing beats a live audience. No amount of recording or engineering can equal a live performance.”

Murray said the band and choir have been prepping for the 90-minute concert since mid-September, rehearsing multiple times a week.

“It will just be a fun Christmas concert,” he said, noting that the show will also feature the St. Cecilia Community Chorus. “It will be a great way to celebrate the holidays.”

Murray said the set list features Christmas carol favorites arranged for band and choir.  

“And we do a big sing-a-long with the audience near the end of the concert,” Murray said. 

NCCC President Dr. Brian Inbody echoed Murray’s sentiments on performing live.

“While they did a great job with Zoom and YouTube, it was an incredible amount of work,” Inbody said of previous remote performances. “There’s nothing quite like having a live audience and live production. So I’m excited for our students in the theater and music programs.”

Masks will be required at the show. 

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