Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church of Dallas, Texas has created a new Christmas production titled “A Preston Hollow Christmas with John Rutter” that will air this December on KERA, North Dallas Public Television. Broadcasts are scheduled for Saturday, December 23 at 2 p.m., and Sunday, December 24 at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. It will be made available to PBS stations around the nation for the holiday season of 2024. 

The special guest star of the production is world renowned composer/conductor John Rutter. Rutter, dubbed “the composer who owns Christmas” by the New York Times, conducted the church’s famed 125-voice Sanctuary Choir, the Boy Choir of St. Mark’s School of Texas, (Glenn Stroh, Director) soloists Josefina Maldonado and Erin Hannigan, and professional orchestra in a selection of his most popular works. The production will include such Rutter favorites as “Star Carol” and “I Saw Three Ships” as well as many of his beloved settings of familiar carols such as “Away in a Manger,” “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and “Silent Night.”

The hour-long special will also include the church’s handbell choir under the direction of Stephanie Rhoades and a new Gary Fry Christmas work for organ and orchestra featuring Bradley Hunter Welch. Thomas Gusewelle is the program’s producer and Steven Jobman, the church’s Artistic Director-in-Residence, is the production’s executive producer.

Broadcast Schedule: 

Saturday, December 23, 2 pm

Sunday, December 24, 11 am and 8 pm

About John Rutter: 

John Rutter was born in London and studied music at Clare College, Cambridge. He first came to notice as a composer during his student years; much of his early work consisted of church music and other choral pieces including Christmas carols. From 1975–79 he was Director of Music at his alma mater, Clare College, and directed the college chapel choir in various recordings and broadcasts. Since 1979 he has divided his time between composition and conducting. Today his compositions, including such concert-length works as Requiem, Magnificat, Mass of the Children, The Gift of Life, and Visions are performed around the world. His music has been featured in a number of British royal occasions, including the two most recent royal weddings and the funeral of Queen Elizabeth. He edits the Oxford Choral Classics series, and, with Sir David Willcocks, co-edited four volumes of Carols for Choirs. In 1983 he formed his own choir the Cambridge Singers, with whom he has made numerous recordings, and he appears regularly in several countries as guest conductor and choral ambassador. He holds a Lambeth Doctorate in Music, and in 2007 was awarded a CBE for services to music. In September 2023, he received the Ivors Academy Fellowship, joining a prestigious list of 24 Fellows including John Adams, Pierre Boulez CBE, Kate Bush CBE and Sir Elton John. 

About Steve Jobman:

Steven Jobman was called to be the Director of Music of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in July of 2015. Steve previously served First Presbyterian Church of Galesburg, Illinois (8 years) and First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, Iowa (25 years.)  He was the executive producer of two PBS tapings of First Presbyterian Davenport’s Christmas concerts, which were then aired nationally in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was also Executive Producer of two previous PBS specials from Preston Hollow. 

He has been an innovator and driving force in sacred music at every stop in his career. Some of the composers he collaborated with prior to his tenure at Preston Hollow include Mack Wilberg, Howard Helvey, Gary Fry, Hank Beebe, Robert Leaf, Andrew Carter, Joel Raney, and Gilbert M. Martin.  

At Preston Hollow Presbyterian, Steve has prepared the choir to sing both the Vaughan Williams DONA NOBIS PACEM and the Verdi REQUIEM.  The choir was also honored to be selected on three different occasions as the opera chorus with Andrea Bocelli at the American Airlines Center for audiences of 20,000.    Steve holds degrees from the University of Nebraska (Bachelor of Music in Education, Master of Music in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting/Voice).    

 About Bradley Hunter Welch:

A lifelong and passionate church musician, Dr. Welch serves as Artist-in-Residence at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church in Dallas, TX. In August 2018, he was named Resident Organist and holder of the Lay Family Chair by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he performs with the DSO and serves as Curator of the Meyerson Symphony Center’s Lay Family Concert Organ, built by C.B. Fisk.

About Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church:

Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church is an inclusive Presbyterian USA church located at 9800

Preston Rd. Dallas, TX, 75230, that believes in “Trusting that all belong to God, living like we belong to one another.”

About KERA:

KERA is a community-supported media organization that delivers distinctive, relevant and

essential content to North Texans. Through programming that reflects the spirit and diversity of

the region, they provide an invaluable alternative to commercial media. The mission of North

Texas Public Broadcasting is to serve North Texans through public television, radio and

multimedia resources that educate, engage, inspire, inform, and entertain. KERA serves the

fourth-largest population area in the country. Each week, more than 2.6 million people connect

with KERA through our television and radio broadcast channels, websites, social media and

mobile apps.