The Observer’s 28th Annual Holiday Music Festival features over 200 local performers at Eastern Oregon University. Sponsored by Koza Family Dental Care, the concert takes place at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7 and 3 p.m., Dec. 8 in McKenzie Theater, with performances by the Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestra, Community Band Northeast, the EOU Chamber Choir, the Grande Ronde Community Chorus, EOU’s 45th Parallel Ensemble, EOU African Drumming Group, and the EOU Fiddle Ensemble. Plus, this year’s special guest the Elgin High School Calypso Band, directed by Tucker Murphey. Comprised of 12 students from seventh to twelfth grade and one P.E. teacher, the band plays traditional calypso and soca music from Trinidad and Tobago. “Calypso music is very high energy and creates a dance/party atmosphere,” Murphey said. “This style is perfect for celebrating the holidays.” Elgin is the only public school in the state that offers a Calypso band as a regular music class. “What we have with the steel instruments is special,” said Murphey. “It is our responsibility to share that with the community.”

The Calypso Band will perform three numbers independently, and collaborate with the Chamber and Community choirs for another number. The band looks forward to “performing in front of a large crowd, collaborating with other groups and bonding over an after-show meal,” Murphey said. The selection of songs were chosen by Murphey with the intent to “represent the holidays and still stay true to the feel of the Caribbean.” This community-wide festival features traditional holiday music from around the world and “is a wonderful beginning to the Holiday season,” Peter Wordelman said.

Tickets are available now, and space is limited. Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available online and for purchase at Red Cross Drug and the EOU Bookstore. All proceeds from the event go to the music funds held in the EOU Foundation.

For more information, contact Peter Wordelman, 541-962-3352 or pwordelm@eou.edu.