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Holiday Greetings From W&M

Two students create W&M holiday greeting

by Megan Shearin | December 7, 2010

Some 60,000 members of the William & Mary community will receive a holiday greeting this year featuring the artwork and musical talents of two students.

Working closely with the Office of Creative Services, Rachel Follis ’11 created an original piece of artwork and Rebecca Phillips ’11 performed a featured solo of “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays.”  The greeting will be sent out on behalf of William & Mary President Taylor Reveley to alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the College


Follis, an art major and intern in the Office of Creative Services, said she was thrilled when approached and asked to complete a drawing for the holiday greeting.  While the iconic image of the Wren Building was decided as the focal point early on, the concept of transferring the painting from paper to web proved to be a bit trickier.  

“At first, it was going to be an animated card with just the illustration,” said Follis.  “And eventually, it developed into the concept of recording me as I drew.”

Associate Director of Creative Services Joel Pattison shot the video of Follis outlining the artwork in ink and painting in watercolor, which took her just under an hour to complete.  He then edited the video down to just under a minute and a half, and incorporated the multimedia effects of snow falling at the end.

“This project really is a great example of our team’s ability to pull together a wide variety of skills and assemble something unique,” he said.    

English major Rebecca Phillips was recommended by Dr. Jamie Bartlett, associate director of choirs, as the featured soloist for the greeting.  The song was recorded in the Swem Library Media Center.

“I think a lot of people already know the song, so it was a relief for me to sing something as familiar as “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays’” said Phillips.  “Since I didn’t have any instrumentation to work off of, I practiced for a couple hours each day preceding the recording.”

Both Follis and Phillips say they feel privileged to have their talents showcased to thousands of individuals connected to William & Mary.

“Plus, it’s a nice way for the College to highlight the talent that’s within the student body,” said Phillips, an active member of the Botetourt Chamber Singers and musical director of the Accidentals, an elite all-female a cappella group.

This combined student-staff project showcases the extraordinary talent at William & Mary and offers a glimpse into the holiday spirit embraced by the College community.

“It’s intimate,” said Follis.  “I think you really get the feeling of William & Mary.

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