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Vassar College presents the annual “Service of Lessons and Carols” (12/2)

The college’s annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” an Advent service of readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony, will be held in the Vassar Chapel on Sunday, December 2.

This popular event is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 6:30pm, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The event begins at 7:00pm. A free will offering will also be taken to support the college's annual philanthropic campaign, Community Works, which provides funding to several Hudson Valley non-profit organizations (see Please make checks payable to Vassar College.

Rev. Samuel Speers, Director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Assistant Dean for Campus Life, said, “We encourage people to arrive early to this very popular event, which usually fills our over 1000-seat chapel to capacity.”

The program, co-sponsored by the Office of Religious & Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices and the Department of Music, will feature Advent and scriptural readings. An ensemble of 150 singers, including members of UJIMA: A Groove Society, the Vassar College Choir, Vassar College Chamber Singers, Vassar College Women’s Chorus, and the Cappella Festiva Chamber, Treble, and Cor Capriccio Choirs, will perform. This event will feature the music of Benjamin Britten, Bob Chilcott, Hans Leo Hassler,  G.F. Handel, Paul Mealor, Thomas LaVoy, and Michael John Trotta.

 The Lessons and Carols Choir is under the direction of Associate Professor of Music, Christine R. Howlett, and Ronald Bemrich, members of the Vassar College Department of Music.  Guests include Matt Zydel and Elizabeth Clifton, conductors, and James Fitzwilliam, piano.  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 College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays–Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities can be found on the Accessibility and Educational Opportunity website.

Directions to the Vassar campus, located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, are available at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, November 19, 2018