Christmas from the Daines Concert Hall begins Thursday with special guest Lexi Walker

When 16-year old Utahn Lexi Walker appears at Utah State University this weekend as part of the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra Christmas celebration, she will take the stage after recently returning from her first world tour.

She will be featured in Christmas From the Daines Concert Hall, four shows beginning Thursday, Dec. 6, continuing Friday and Saturday nights with a 2 pm. Saturday matinee.

Choir founder and conductor Dr. Craig Jessop remembers when he first heard her sing.

“She did a Christmas Special with Gentry, that gentlemen’s trio we’ve had the last two years, and I saw that special three years ago, and I thought I’ve got to get her up here.”

He says this is the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra’s 10th year and the first rehearsal for this, the most popular concert of their calendar year, was in mid-November.

“I’m really proud of these singers,” says Jessop. “They’re quick. It’s an audition group, they read quickly and they’re really disciplined and I’m really proud of them.”

The concert features the Westminster Bell Choir plus new arrangements by Kurt Bestor and Stephen Nelson, including the premier of Bestor’s new arrangement of “Silent Night.”

A highlight of the concert will be “All Bells in Paradise” a new carol written by John Rutter for the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge.

The Christmas concerts have played to sold-out houses every December.

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