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Public Invited to 26th Annual Service of Lessons & Carols on Dec. 2 and 5

November 12, 2013

Category: Events, Music


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The public is invited to attend Catawba College's 26th annual Service of Lessons and Carols in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on two evenings this year – Monday, December 2, and Thursday, December 5. Those attending one of these services, which has become known as the college's gift to the community, will hear the story of the birth of Christ in both scripture and song.

Dr. Phillip Burgess, Catawba's choral director and adjunct faculty member in music, will be the principal conductor, directing the 40-member Catawba Chamber Singers. Others contributing music include Matthew Brown, organist; Jacob Hahn, pianist; and the Catawba Chamber Winds, directed by Dr. Stephen Etters, an associate professor of music at Catawba. Liturgist will be Dr. Kenneth Clapp, Catawba chaplain and senior vice-president.

Burgess, who has served as an adjunct instructor of sacred music in the Catawba College Music Department for the past three years, began serving as the College's choral director this academic year. He is well-known in the Salisbury-Rowan community for his ongoing role as organist and choirmaster at the downtown St. Luke's Episcopal Church.

The Service of Lessons and Carols is based on the famous ritual that originated at King's College in Cambridge, England. It 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.

Musical selections include "Once in Royal David's City," "What Child is This?" "All Bells in Paradise," "This Little Babe," "Who is He in Yonder Stall," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Mary Said Yes," and "Joy to the World."

According to Burgess, a featured carol this year will be John Rutter's gentle and uplifting, "All Bells in Paradise."   This piece was commissioned for the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, and first performed during the 2012 Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.  Another carol, "Mary Said Yes," uses original text by Richard Leach that creates images of Mary bearing Jesus as a model for all who seek to live a Christian life.

A prelude of Christmas music will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the Service of Lessons and Carols starting at 7:00 p.m. Shuttle service to the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel will be offered beginning at 5:30 p.m. from the Robertson College-Community Center, Ketner Hall and Shuford Stadium parking lots on campus. After the Service, the shuttle will also be available to return guests to their vehicles.

Tickets for both the December 2 and 5 Service of Lessons and Carols are free to the public, but required for all who plan to attend. Requests are limited to up to four tickets per individual. Tickets are available through the Catawba College Development Office by calling (704) 637-4396 between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Note that the college will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 28 and 29 and will reopen Dec. 2.


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