Christmas Vespers set for Dec. 1 and 2

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1 and 2, Northwestern College will present its annual Christmas Vespers service. The A cappella and Women’s choirs, Symphonette, and brass and chimes ensembles will provide the music for the services, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday in Christ Chapel.

The public is invited to attend either service; there is no admission fee.

“Gloria” is the theme for Christmas Vespers this year. “The Vespers service will celebrate the wonder and glory of the birth of Christ,” says Dr. Thomas Holm, associate professor of music.

Among the works to be performed are Giovanni Gabrieli’s Sonata Octavi Toni; Benjamin Britten’s Hodie, There is No Rose and This Little Babe; Still, Still, Still; Ding Dong Merrily on High; Ottorino Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances; and J.S. Bach’s Sing Unto the Lord a New Song.

The A cappella Choir will conclude the service with Gloria by John Rutter. The three-movement work is scored for brass, percussion, organ, choir and soloists. “This festive and beautiful piece has established itself as an audience favorite for Christmas programs,” says Holm.

The audience will be invited to join in singing several familiar carols throughout the service. Various passages of Scripture will be read throughout the service as well.

The A cappella Choir will be directed by Holm. Dr. Timothy McGarvey, associate professor of music, will direct the brass ensemble. The Symphonette will be directed by Jungho Kim, visiting lecturer in music. The Women’s Choir is under the direction of Dr. Linell Gray Moss, visiting lecturer in music. Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, assistant professor of music, will direct the chimes ensemble.