I’m not really into Christmas, for one obvious reason, but it’s great in this respect — there will be lots of free music Friday night.
For starters, check out the UNC Gospel Choir at University Baptist Church in the middle of downtown Chapel Hill. I went to see the GAA Holiday Show at UNC last night. There were 10 musical acts, and the most memorable by far was the gospel choir.
I’m probably the opposite of the target audience for this group in every way (see intro), but anyone can appreciate their energy and enthusiasm and amazing vocal ability. One of the best things about living near a campus it gives you the opportunity to experience things you would never otherwise see, and this definitely qualifies. That said, the second most memorable group at the concert last night was right up my alley — a hilarious set by Sababa, the Jewish a cappella group, which ended with a Hanukkah song set to the tune of Outcast’s Hey Ya (listen to it here).
After stopping by the church, go one block down to the Carolina Inn for their tree lighting ceremony, featuring free refreshments (bonus!) and the bluegrass group Big Fat Gap. If you want what I consider to be the most genuine southern music experience, this is probably it.
Finally, head over to the Duke Chapel, where the Duke Chapel Choir sings the complete Messiah by Handel every year. There’s performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is something I never did as a student, probably because I didn’t have three hours free during the last week of classes. Ironically enough, now that I’m no longer a student I can actually enjoy what’s happening on campus.