Catawba's Annual Service of Lessons and Carols Marks 25th Anniversary
November 5, 2012
Catawba College's annual Service of Lessons and Carols marks its 25th anniversary this year and those attending will hear the story of the birth of Christ in both scripture and song. Members of the general public are invited to attend the Service in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on Thursday, November 29.
The Service of Lessons and Carols will be offered to special guests of the college on two additional nights – Monday, Nov. 26 and Tuesday, Nov. 27, but these performances are not open to the general public.
This year, Dr. Jim Shepherd, Catawba's director of choral music and assistant professor of music, will be the principal conductor of the Service. He promises a service that will set the tone for the season. "We have tried to select carols that people will remember from Christmases past. For many who attend, this service will mark the beginning of their holiday season and we want it to be both familiar and memorable," Shepherd explained.
Rosemary Kinard, who retired from Catawba in 2008 after serving 20 years as director of choral music, directed Catawba's Service of Lessons and Carols from its inception in 1987 through 2007. Due to the community popularity of this annual service, Professor Kinard and Catawba's Service of Lessons and Carols were profiled in "Our State" magazine in 2006.
In a 1995 interview, Professor Kinard explained that what appealed to her about the annual Service of Lessons and Carols was its "twining together of the story of why there is a Christmas with music. "
"You couldn't get a better script than the words from the prophets and the Gospel and then the scripture from St. John that talks about the mystery of the trinity. There is a feeling of awe that I have every year," Kinard said in that same interview. The service 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 for this 25th anniversary event include "Do You Hear What I Hear?," "Wexford Carol," "God Rest You Merry Gentlemen," "Angel's Carol," "First Noel," and "Go Where I Send Thee. "
Participants in this year's service will include the Catawba Singers, the Catawba Chamber Singers, the Catawba Wind Ensemble, conducted by Professor Steve Etters, organist Matt Brown and pianist Jacob Hahn. 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.
The annual Service of Lessons and Carols is a widely anticipated community event that has been attended by a packed congregation in recent years. Tickets for the November 29 service, although free to the public, are required for all who plan to attend and requests are limited to up to four tickets per individual. Tickets will be available through the College Development Office beginning Thursday, November 8 by calling (704) 637-4396 between 1 and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.