Northwestern College presents Christmas Vespers

Northwestern College will present its annual Christmas Vespers services on Saturday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m. in Christ Chapel. The event is free and open to the public.

The theme for Vespers this year is Magnificat, Mary’s hymn of praise sung in response to the angel’s announcement that she will bear the son of God. The service will feature performances by multiple Northwestern music ensembles: the A cappella Choir and the men of Heritage Singers, directed by Dr. Thomas Holm, professor of music; the Women’s Choir, directed by Glee Crippin, lecturer in music; the Chamber Orchestra and Brass Choir, directed by Dr. Timothy McGarvey, professor of music, and the Handbell Choir, directed by Dr. Heather Josselyn-Cranson, associate professor of music.

The service’s keystone piece, “Magnificat” by Imant Raminsch, will be performed by the A cappella Choir, with mezzo-soprano soloists Rachel Plockmeyer, Zeeland, Mich., and Amber Maloney, Hartley, Iowa. The five-movement, 22-minute work will be accompanied on piano by Dr. Juyeon Kang, associate professor of music.

“Raminsch uses all the performing forces to craft a powerful setting of Mary’s hymn of praise,” says Holm. “The musical, thematic and dramatic journey in the rest of the program is framed around this work.”

Vespers will also include Scripture readings by Northwestern’s chaplain, the Rev. Harlan Van Oort. The Magnificat text from the Gospel of Luke will be read by A cappella Choir member Sarah Bartz, Lakeville, Minn., and Women’s Choir member Andrea Ver Mulm, Rock Valley, Iowa.