16:09 PM

Deck the Halls and Donate Dolls

UHD Concert Chorale Spreads Holiday Cheer and Collects Toys


By Hayden Bergman

Play is as important to a child’s development as proper nutrition and an unwavering caregiver, as it builds a healthy, creative brain able to solve complex problems. Play also helps developing children build social skills that will help them thrive later in life.  

This, along with some holiday spirit, is why the Basic Needs Center and the UHD Concert Chorale are hosting the inaugural Winter Concert and Toy Drive on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium (A350). This free show will begin at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.  

Orlando Williams, Director of Choral Activities, said his goal for the concert is to bring “holiday cheer to those we love, support, and who are in need.” With those aims in mind, “the Basic Needs Center was the perfect organization to partner with.” He noted that the event would not be possible without contributions from Eugene Bernard, Director of Basic Needs; Michele Holt, Basic Needs Coordinator; and Michael Simmons, Basic Needs Coordinator.   

Concertgoers can expect to hear “holiday classics, popular tunes, and a choral arrangement of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” said Williams. And attendees hear several solo and instrumental performances. 

They will also be treated to the musical stylings of the Gator Groove Band and Admission Possible (a staff band). 

Leading up to the concert, UHD’s Basic Needs Center (N210), is hosting a toy drive for student Gators with children or the guardians of children between the ages of one and 10. Toys must be new and unopened. Donations can be made Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Basic Needs Center (OMB N210). 

About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) is the second-largest university in Houston and has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974. As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive, four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.