Join the University of Central Missouri Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Choir as they pair this week with Robin Best in the annual “First Lady’s Holiday Charity Concert."

This year’s concert will solicit funds to help support the Old Drum Animal Shelter of Warrensburg, Missouri.

In an abundance of caution to ensure a safe and healthy event, this year’s concert will be premiered virtually on the UCM Bands’ YouTube channel at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 2. Visit to subscribe and set a reminder for the concert. Viewers can also access the video directly at 7 p.m. Wednesday by using this link.

The holiday concert was designed by several students after the poem, “The Night Before Christmas.” The poem is cleverly used to introduce each of the ensembles and the effort to help support the Old Drum Animal Shelter.

Concert selections will feature vocal student soloist Emily Alumbaugh in “I Know Moonrise” with the Concert Choir and Albert Suarez, principal horn with the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra, and UCM Music faculty with the Wind Ensemble in “Santa’s Ride,” the third movement from Charles Fernandez’s “Holiday Horn Concerto.” The Wind Ensemble will also make the audience think a little differently about Christmas as it presents David Lovrien’s “Minor Alterations: Christmas from the Looking Glass.”

“David takes many of the well-known holiday tunes and puts them all into minor keys, which has a natural element of sadness. But, if you like the Disney movie, “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” you will undoubtedly love this work and never hear these tunes the same way ever again,” noted Anthony Pursell, UCM’s director of bands and conductor of the Wind Ensemble.

Also during the concert, the UCM Symphonic Band, led by Dr. Julia Baumanis, will present the holiday classic, “Sleigh Ride.”

Viewers can hop into their warm pajamas and have a cup of hot chocolate as they gather the family around the television, laptop, or iPad for this UCM holiday tradition. For more information, please contact Anthony Pursell at

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