Nashville, Tennessee, is a long way from New Mexico’s Moreno Valley.
Despite the drastic change, Christine Subratie made the leap and followed her musical passion to Belmont University.
“It was a culture shock,” she says of moving to Nashville. “But I knew this is part of my plan and I had to follow it. I’m one of two students from New Mexico at Belmont.”
It will air at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1.
The concert was recorded in the 1,700-seat Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on Belmont’s campus.
“Christmas at Belmont 2021” features nearly 650 Belmont University students performing holiday favorites, traditional carols and festive tunes.
“NPT is thrilled to once again be collaborating with Belmont University to bring ‘Christmas at Belmont’ to a national audience on PBS,” said Becky Magura, NPT’s president and CEO.
The concert includes 15 student musical groups, among them the Belmont Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale (traditional choir) and Jazzmin (vocal jazz ensemble) performing a variety of genres. The students perform an arrangement of “Carol of the Bells” that includes a bit of a medley of holiday tunes. Standout performances in a night of beautiful music include a bluegrass rendition of “It’s Christmastime Again,” a Gospel rendering of “Go Tell It on the Mountain/Glory to God” and a version of “¡Navidad!” by the percussion ensemble that’s full of verve and syncopation – and a couple of musical surprises.
“I play second chair flute in the symphony orchestra,” Subratie says. “They try to include as many music groups in the school. It’s really a great opportunity and they always have a guest artist.”
Music was always around as Subratie grew up. Her father is a musician.
By the time sixth grade rolled around, she began to play flute in the school band.
In her junior year at Cimarron High School, she made the New Mexico All-State Band. She graduated in 2020.
“I was the first person to do this at my school,” she says. “I quit sports to focus on music. Once I got accepted to Belmont, I chose music education as my major. I want to teach others what I was taught. I’ve been able to be in a strong community thanks to music. Now I want to give back. I’ve had such great teachers, I want to give them thanks for helping me dream big.”
Subratie and her classmates recorded the performance for two long days – 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
“It was a long two days,” she says. “It was also amazing to see the process of how a televised show like this comes together.”
“Christmas at Belmont” was recorded in early December with an invitation-only audience in attendance and COVID-19 protocols in place.
“The hope of Christmas is perfectly reflected in so many songs of the season, and I look forward with great anticipation to showcasing the talents of our students in front of a national television audience,” says Greg Jones, Belmont University’s president.