Northwestern to present Christmas Vespers services

Carols From Around the World: The Nations Celebrate the Savior’s Birth” will be the theme for Northwestern College’s Christmas Vespers services on Saturday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The events are free, and the public is invited to attend.

“We have chosen carols and other Christmas selections from approximately 18 different countries or regions. The music styles will range from German motet to Haitian calypso,” says Dr. Thomas Holm, director of Northwestern’s A cappella Choir. “We will also have several Christmas readings, first recited in one of four non-English languages, then recited in English. In addition, the program will involve several carols for audience participation.”

The A cappella Choir will perform 11 pieces, including Infant Holy, Infant Lowly and El Desembre. The origins of the compositions include countries such as Spain, France, Haiti and Poland. Alegria, a Puerto Rican piece, will feature tenor soloists Nick Crippin and Abhi Dutt. An early American tune, The Hills are Bare, will include a solo by Erin Brogan. A bell choir under the direction of Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson will perform the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells.

The Brass Ensemble, directed by Dr. Timothy McGarvey, will open the concert with Alleluia by Jacobus Gallus. The Symphonette, directed by Dr. Kimberly Utke Svanoe, will play Bach’s Sheep May Safely Graze and perform Deutches Magnificat with the Women’s Choir. The women’s ensemble, also directed by Svanoe, will perform Norwegian Carol, O Come to Bethlehem and He Came Down.