NWC to present Christmas Vespers services

The Northwestern College music department will present its annual Christmas Vespers services, entitled Gloria, on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. The events will take place in Christ Chapel, and the public is invited to attend.

The services will include music by Northwestern’s A cappella Choir, Women’s Choir, Chamber Orchestra and Brass Ensemble. The concert will also feature Mary Lou Wielenga, lecturer in music, on the organ, a reading by Chaplain Harlan Van Oort, and audience carol participation.

The concert will open with a festive brass choir fanfare from the balcony. The Chamber Orchestra, directed by Dr. Kimberly Utke Svanoe, professor of music, will feature an arrangement of the carol Of the Father’s Love Begotten and Steven Amundson’s festive Glories Ring.

The A cappella Choir, under the direction of Dr. Thomas Holm, professor of music, will perform the French composer Francis Poulenc’s six-movement Gloria, which features Paul Whitley, instructor of music, on piano and student soloists Renee Ausborn, Karina Smit and Erica Bauserman. “This work is often performed by professional and advanced college choirs,” Holm says. “It is loved for its beautiful melodies, harmonies, colors, expressive soprano solos and rich choral writing.”

The A cappella Choir will also perform Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque, a piece that uses shimmering choral harmonies to represent the radiant beauty of the gift of gold given to the Christ child, and Paul Christiansen’s arrangement of Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.

The Women’s Choir, under the direction of Dr. Linell Moss, visiting assistant professor of music, will perform Gloria ad modum tubae by Guillaume Dufay and Candlelight Carol by John Rutter. They will also sing Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory’s Hope for Resolution, which will feature students Kiersten Van Wyhe on the flute, Katlyn DeVries on the soprano saxophone, Sam Schouweiler on the congas and Jana Bruce on piano.