For the twentieth consecutive year, the Catawba College Department of Music will present its annual Service of Lessons and Carols, on Tuesday and Thursday, December 4 and December 6, in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus.
This will be a premier event for Paul E. Oakley, Catawba College's new Director of Choral, Vocal and Sacred Music Studies, Associate Professor of Music, and also the College Organist. Oakley, who joined the College this past summer, will be assisted in the directing of the Service by Rosemary C. Kinard, who entered phased retirement this academic year after 20 years at the institution.
The annual Service of Lessons and Carols is a widely anticipated community event which has played to full houses in recent years. A half dozen years ago, the high level of community interest caused the College to offer the Service on a second night. Now tickets, although free to the public, are required for all who plan to attend.
In addition to Oakley and Kinard, other musicians involved in the Service include Amy Joye Bailey, Dr. Timothy Belflowers, Dr. Stephen Etters, Adam Ward, the Catawba Singers, the Catawba Chorale, the Catawba Handbells, the Catawba Madrigals, the Catawba Brass and the Catawba Wind Ensemble, with guest choir, the St. John's Men's Ensemble, and the new Catawba Children's Chorale.
A prelude of Christmas music will begin each night at 6:30 p.m., with the Service of Lessons and Carols
starting at 7:00 p.m. The service is based on the famous ritual that originated at King's College in Cambridge, England, which weaves beautiful carols of the season with scriptures or lessons, relating to the story of Christmas from the prophecies to the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Some of the carols this year include the beautiful "I Saw Three Ships," "Away in a Manger," "Arise, Your Light Has Come," "The Angel Gabriel to Mary Came," and "Gloria in excelsis Deo."
One musical selection, "Angels Visit When We Sing," will premier during the Service of Lessons and Carols, performed by the Catawba Singers. This composition was specially commissioned in honor of Rosemary Kinard at her retirement by choir members who sang under her direction from 1988-2007. Dr. Walter L. Pelz, a well-known American composer and music faculty member at Bethany College in Linsborg, Kansas, accepted and completed this commission.
Readers for the Service are members of the Catawba community, with the final scripture lesson to be read by Catawba President Dr. Robert E. Knott. Liturgist will be Dr. Kenneth Clapp, senior vice-president and chaplain of the College.
Tickets for assured seating are available now by calling (704) 637-4394 between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Although admission is free, it will be by ticket only until 6:40 p.m. each evening. After 6:40 p.m., seating will be open, if space is still available.
Shuttle service will be offered beginning at 5:30 p.m. each evening from the Robertson College-Community Center, the Ketner Hall and the Shuford Stadium parking lots on campus. After each performance, the shuttle service will also be available to return guests to their vehicles.