Everyone is invited to celebrate the holidays with music and refreshments at the annual tree-lighting and decorated-tree events on Thursday, November 29, at Sutton Hall. Festivities begin at 4:45 p.m., with the tree-lighting ceremony on the East Porch. Immediately following is the decorated-tree event in the Blue Room.

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The tree lighting will feature music by the IUP Chorale and Chorus, directed by Ryan Beeken; the East Pike and Eisenhower elementary school vocal ensembles, directed by Debbie Sasala; and the IUP Brass Ensemble, directed by Christian Dickinson.

The IUP Chorale will perform “Psallite,” by Michael Praetorius; “Coventry Carol,” a 16th-century English carol; and “African Noel,” arranged by Andre Thomas. The IUP Chorus will sing the Spanish carol “Riu Riu Chiu” and German carol “Susanni.” Together, the groups will perform the French carol “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and “Caroling Caroling,” by Alfred Burt.

The elementary school ensembles will sing “Snow Is Falling Still,” by Mary Donnelly and George Strid, and “Ho! Ho! Holidays,” by Alan Billingsley.

Connor McQuaide, a fifth-grader at East Pike Elementary School, will flip the switch to light the trees.

Immediately afterward, everyone is invited to the Blue Room on the first floor for the eighth annual decorated-tree event. While enjoying seasonal refreshments, enjoy the wonders of 14 decorated fir trees, donated by Musser Forests Tree Farms and the Indiana County Bar Association.

Decorating the trees this year are IUP fraternities and sororities, the Mortar Board Honor Society, IUP Ambassadors, Annual Giving employees and students, Aramark employees, the Student Cooperative Association, and the IUP Women's Club.

People can donate $1 per vote to support their favorite decorated tree. The money will be donated to an IUP scholarship fund that recognizes students who exhibit leadership qualities and volunteer in the community.

Tree sponsors are Aramark Corporation, Jack and Susan Delaney of Delaney Chevrolet-Honda-Hyundai and Subaru, Global Spectrum, the IUP Ambassadors, IUP Interfraternity Council, IUP Student Cooperative Association, IUP Women's Club, Mortar Board Honor Society, National Panhellenic Association, Quota International of Indiana Inc., Rotary Club of Indiana, S&T Bank, and state senator Don White.

Funds from the tree sponsorships are used to support student initiatives at IUP.

Students raised funds to purchase the decorations, which will be donated, along with 14 other trees, to families in the Salvation Army's Treasures for Children program.

In addition, more than 300 students from IUP fraternities and sororities raised more than $4,000 for the holiday tree initiative and $1,500 for the IUP scholarship fund connected with the project.