Catawba College Music Department's Nineteenth Annual Service of Lessons and Carols
December 8, 2006
For Rosemary C. Kinard, director of choral ensembles at the College, this year's services were bittersweet for they marked the final time that she directed this program. Kinard will enter phased retirement next academic year after 20 years at the institution. Although she will continue to teach classes, work with Catawba's sacred music majors and offer private voice lessons, she will not be in charge of this massive musical undertaking which has played to full houses in recent years due to the high level of community interest.
"I never would have imagined that it would have become such a big event," Kinard said. "I was looking for something meaningful for the choirs that would also involve the College community, and a "Lessons and Carols" service does that. I didn't realize then that it would impact the larger community so much as well. Now, it has become a true college-community event."
The event has become so popular in the area, in fact, that Our State magazine chose to feature Catawba's Service of Lessons and Carols in its December 2006 edition in an article written by Catawba alumna Wanda Duncan '81.
Kinard also serves as associate parish musician at St. John's Lutheran Church and says that serving in that role will take on new significance as she phases out her choral work at Catawba. "I'm not really stopping, I'm just changing roles," she explained.
Prelude music began each night at 6:30 p.m., with the Choral Procession starting at 7:00 p.m. Participants included the Catawba Chorale, Madrigals, and Singers, as well as the Catawba Brass, the Catawba Handbell Ensemble and alumna April Naylor, flautist. Special guests were the St. John's Men's Chorus and new on the program this year was harpist Carla Mitchell who was featured during the prelude.
Additionally, former members of the choral ensembles, which Kinard has directed over the past 19 years, attended the service on Thursday, Dec. 7 and joined the current Catawba choir members in singing "Arise, Your Light Has Come" during the processional.
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 included on the program this year were the beautiful "O Magnum Mysterium," "Deo Gracias," "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People," "The Glory of the Father", and "Joy to the World." Readers were members of the Catawba community, with the final scripture lesson read by Catawba President Dr. Robert E. Knott. Liturgist was Dr. Kenneth Clapp, senior vice-president and chaplain of the College.