20th Anniversary of Christmas Spectacular

Tickets Available for 20th Anniversary of Christmas Spectacular

Molly Grace WatkinsASOTA, News

MOBILE, Ala. – Celebrating 20 years of music and tradition, the Alabama School of the Arts announces the University of Mobile’s annual Christmas Spectacular extravaganza Nov. 17-20.

This musical celebration of the Christmas season is seen each year in person by more than 10,000 people who travel to Mobile from across the U.S., and it is televised throughout the Christmas season to millions across the globe.

“The 20th Anniversary of Christmas Spectacular will feature custom Christmas musical arrangements and bring back the most loved moments from our two decades of performances,” said Jenna Goodwin, director of production in the Alabama School of the Arts. “The variety of the musical elements, the talent represented in our student body, and the opportunity to produce an incredibly high-quality production makes Christmas Spectacular a highlight of our year.”

Christmas Spectacular will be presented at Cottage Hill Baptist Church on Nov. 17-19 at 7 p.m., Nov. 19 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. Tickets go on sale starting Oct. 1. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit umobile.edu/christmas

Christmas Spectacular is a musical event that tells the story of Christmas through performances by the Alabama School of the Arts. The popular event consists of over 17 ensembles, a 50-piece orchestra and the University Singers performing a combination of classical and contemporary Christmas music. 

Christmas Spectacular started as a bold idea by Dr. Roger Breland, dean emeritus of the Alabama School of the Arts and executive director of the Roger Breland Center for Performing Arts, along with Dr. Al Miller, dean of the Alabama School of the Arts.

Breland, known in the Christian music industry for founding one of the first successful contemporary Christian music groups, TRUTH, had just joined the university and, with Miller, launched the Center for Performing Arts. They wanted to present a Christmas concert that would showcase the university’s talented students and faculty.

Twenty years ago, Breland stood in the 2,500-seat worship center of Dauphin Way Baptist Church, where Christmas Spectacular was first performed. He had roped off a seating area for about 500 people near the stage. He hoped enough people would come to fill it and hear what he had the privilege of hearing every day – amazing voices and music from some of the most talented students of this generation. The Christian college’s student vocalists and instrumentalists had practiced all semester and were ready for their first major concert – “Christmas Spectacular.” 

“To my amazement, more than 2,000 people showed up! I was just expecting parents to attend, but was astonished by the support we received from the community,” said Breland.

Since then, Christmas Spectacular has become the largest Christmas concert along the Alabama, Mississippi and Florida panhandle Gulf Coast region. In 2021, more than 10,000 people attended concerts during four nightly performances – including the dress rehearsal. 

“The success of Christmas Spectacular is simply not possible without the blessing of the Lord and the tenacity of teachers, staff and students who expect, practice and produce excellence” Miller added. 

This year, the 20th anniversary will be more “spectacular” than ever. The Alabama School of the Arts is proud to welcome back alumni alongside students to make this an unforgettable experience. 

“We are most excited to see several alumni return to perform some of the classics and most loved songs from the last two decades. Many of our current students chose to attend the University of Mobile because of Christmas Spectacular and they remember watching these former students perform and worship,” said Goodwin.

Breland said, “One of the joys of my journey at the University of Mobile has been Christmas Spectacular. We could not have imagined how it has grown in 20 years. I constantly thank God for all that He has blessed us with, and may we always seek to give back what we have as an offering to Him,” 

About the University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered university offering on-campus and online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in over 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, the University of Mobile is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention and is located 10 miles north of Mobile, Alabama on a campus of over 880 acres.

For information about the University of Mobile, areas of study, admissions and more, visit umobile.edu, connect with UM on social media @univofmobile, or call Enrollment Services at 1.800.WIN.RAMS or 251.442.2222.