Holiday Fest gathers families for holiday cheer at Doudna


Rob Le Cates

Will Harrington, a 2-year-old, cautiously accepts a candy cane from Santa during the Holiday Fest at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Saturday afternoon. Harrington’s parents said they always enjoyed the Doudna holiday events and were looking forward for their son to meet Santa.

Katja Benz, Student Government Reporter

Doudna kept a busy schedule for the first weekend in December for Holiday Fest.  

The fest started Thursday at 5 p.m. with the art sale starting then and continuing through the whole festival.  

The festival goes to support the students in the art and design department. The funds go to creating scholarships for these students. $2,242 was raised in funds for Spring 2022 art students.  

Mack Graham, a senior studio art major, submitted ceramic pieces, screen and relief prints, and handmade jewelry for the show. Despite being a senior, they were more than excited to have their art in the sale.  

Graham said that the organizers of the Holiday Fest sent out an email months before asking if anyone wanted to showcase their art, which they did. Graham was glad they got to show off their art.  

“It allows me to show off the work I’ve made, sell pieces to others to allow me to get my name out there,” Graham said. “I’m very proud of all my work and glad to share it with our community.” 

Members of the Chemistry Registered Student Organization show kids of all ages how cool science can be by making snow and snow globes at the Holiday Fest at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Saturday afternoon. (Rob Le Cates)

The fest started Friday at 10 a.m. with the art sale starting the day again. Belle Vie, a specialty coffee trailer based in Sigel, Ill. was at the event all day and was stationed in the Circle Drive until the fest ended for the day at 8 p.m.  

There was also a flute ensemble performance at 5 p.m. on Friday as well. The ensemble, called the EIU Flute Choir, performed an hour-long program consisting of carols in the Doudna Concourse.  

Rebecca Johnson, an Eastern flute instructor, conducted the hour-long performance. She and the EIU Flute Choir performed at the National Flute Association Convention last summer in Chicago, which according to Johnson called for a relaxing fall semester.  

“The EIU Flute Choir worked hard to prepare a program for the National Flute Association Convention last summer, which was held in Chicago,” Johnson said. “As a result, we decided this fall was just about fun, and did a program of carols for the holiday fest.” 

Shortly following the EIU Flute Choir performance, the Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra concert and the play Villains: A Cabaret of the Misunderstood happened simultaneously in different locations throughout the Doudna Fine Arts Center, which both started at 7:30 p.m.

Honor Baker, a junior music education major, sings “Little Girls” from Annie, written by Charleston Strouse and Martin Charnin, during the Villains: A Cabaret of the Misunderstood performance in the Theatre at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Friday night. Baker said she thought it would be a fun exercise in acting because she wants to teach music in K-2 so it would a way to get frustration out now. “I rarely get to sing villain songs, so it was a blast to work with Rebecca and Larry to bring out my villainous side,” Baker said. (Rob Le Cates)


Villains: A Cabaret of the Misunderstood is a set of short plays directed by Eastern alum Bella Poynton about finding yourself and identity.  

Emily Thorpe, a junior music performance and musical theater double major, played her trumpet in the Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra concert. Even though she is performing in many ensembles this weekend, she is still making time to see her friends in recitals and other concerts.  

David Commanday directs the Symphony Orchestra with the very upbeat and festive piece, “A Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson for the Holiday Concert in the Dvorak Concert Hall of Doudna Fine Arts Center. (Ashanti Thomas)

Despite her business, she was excited to play her trumpet for the festivities, where she describes her parts in the music as fun.  

“As a trumpet player, especially holiday music is just fun,” Thorpe said. “All the things that are fun to do on my instrument I get to do, including my favorite, the horse whinny. Love the horse whinny. It’s at the end of ‘Sleigh Ride.’ It’s also at the end of the arrangement of ‘Winter Wonderland’ that we’re doing, and it’s my favorite thing as an instrumentalist ushering in the season. It’s a silly thing, but it’s my favorite.” 

Holiday Fest continued over the weekend as well.


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].