POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” a Christmas service of readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols, that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony, will be held at Vassar College in the Vassar Chapel on Sunday, December 5. This popular event, free and open to the public, will begin at 7:00pm. A free will offering will be taken to support Dutchess Outreach of Poughkeepsie, via the college's "Community Works" campaign (see http://communityworks.vassar.edu/). The doors will open at 6:30pm, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
Rev. Samuel Speers, the director of the Religious and Spiritual Life Office, said: “We encourage people to arrive early to this very popular event, which usually fills the almost 1000-seat Chapel to capacity.”
The program, sponsored by Vassar College Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Department of Music, will feature the Lessons and Carols Choir, an ensemble of 150 singers, which features singers from the Vassar College Choir, Vassar College Women’s Chorus, and the Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir, as well as singers from the Vassar community.
Nathan Carlisle, tenor, a member of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus will make a return appearance to perform with the Lessons and Carols Choir. There will be a premiere of the choral work by composer/conductor Thomas Juneau, “The People Who Walked in Darkness,” which was commissioned for the service by the Vassar College choral ensembles. The Lessons and Carol Choir is under the direction of Christine R. Howlett, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities at Vassar.
College organist and music faculty member Gail Archer will play the Gress-Miles organ. Archer is also the director of the music program at Barnard College and conductor of the Barnard-Columbia Chorus.
Vassar students and members of the Vassar community will give the Advent and Christmas scriptural readings. Irish poet Eamon Grennan, emeritus professor of English and the prize-winning author of more than ten collections of poetry, will read his poem, “Still Life with Christmas Decorations.”
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.