DECATUR — Millikin University graduate Angel Spiccia returns to Decatur for the annual Holiday Jazz concert, one of Millikin’s opportunities to showcase its talented faculty.

“It is an honor to be asked to do this, especially during the Christmas season,” Spiccia said. “And I get to work with my old professors.”

Millikin School of Music faculty members Dave Burdick, Brian Justison, Chris Nolte, Perry Rask, Randy Reyman and Steve Widenhofer make up the The Millikin University Jazz Sextet. The show features jazzy holiday music with the musicians performing many classics of the season. Spiccia will be the featured vocalist.

“People love to hear the lyrics and words in the songs like 'The Christmas Song' and 'Let It Snow',” she said. “And 'Santa Baby' is a favorite.”

The concert, now in its 10th year, will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in Kirkland Fine Arts Center. New this year will be beer and wine for sale in the lobby, valet parking service and a free shuttle service.

“They will pick you up and take you home for free,” Kirkland Fine Arts Director Jan Traughber said of Baldwin Shuttle.

Traughber said the concert is a popular holiday event, and the jazz musicians are a favorite with the community and campus.

“It is cool for the students to see their professors on stage doing something they love to do,” said Traughber, who described the show as a fun concert with a jazz swing. “You don’t have to be a huge jazz fan to love it.

Traughber said Spiccia has an added stage presence, a rapport with her past instructors.

“They banter back and forth,” Traughber said. “There’s humor and singalongs. This is a fun way to relax.”

Currently performing at jazz clubs in Chicago, Spiccia said she appreciates the opportunity to return to the stage at her alma mater and perform with the faculty.

“The relationship is different,” she said. “It is fun to be on this side of the podium.”

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