As the season of Thanksgiving fades and the Christmas season approaches, a number of preparations for the holiday can be seen around campus. For example, President Greg Christy lit the campus Christmas tree last Monday night (Nov. 26), the buildings around campus boast impressive wreath and garland decorations, dorm rooms and dorm bathrooms are blasting Christmas carols, and the various music ensembles can be heard getting ready for the annual Christmas Vespers concert coming up this weekend. There are two different opportunities to come to Christ chapel and see the performance: Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. and Friday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m.
Each year, the music department prepares a wonderful celebration for the Christmas season to share with the community and performs a beautiful concert that centers the community around the real reason for the holiday: Jesus’ birth. The concert will feature a number of different ensembles, including A capella Choir, Women’s Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Brass Ensemble and the Drama Ministries Ensemble. All these different groups have been hard at work learning and memorizing pieces and are eager to share them with students, alumni and others around the area this weekend.
This year, there is a three-part theme for the concert focused around Christ’s birth: We Prepare, He Challenges, We Respond. The different sections are all about our preparation for Jesus’ coming, the way he challenges us through his birth, and how we respond to those challenges afterward.
Each segment of the concert contains music selections and Scripture interpretations that correspond to the section’s title and help illustrate the purpose of Christ’s birth in a beautifully tangible way. In addition, there will be an audience carol after each section that the audience can sing along with, to help welcome Christmas as a community of Christ.
Today’s morning chapel service offered a small preview to the concert, with each music ensemble performing a small selection of its concert pieces. If you liked what you saw in chapel, or if you missed chapel completely because you already had all your credits for the semester, come join the music department this weekend to see their full performance!
While the glimpse offered during chapel was good, it will be nothing compared to the full show on Saturday and Sunday.
After learning, memorizing, practicing, and critiquing, everyone is finally ready and excited to perform for a live audience. With a three-hour dress rehearsal on Friday night, the ensembles will be eager to share the story of Jesus’ birth with full pews, rather than empty ones.
It is my opinion that everyone should go to Vespers. Of course, I’m a little biased because of my involvement in A capella Choir, but seriously, if you’ve ever thought of seeing a concert here at NW, Vespers is a great one to see. Or if you’ve never been to a choir concert, heard an instrumental ensemble or seen Drama Ministries Ensemble perform, come see Vespers this weekend in Christ Chapel.
As a member of the A capella Choir, I am excited to see new and old faces join us in such a wonderful celebration. Vespers is easily one of my favorite times of the year because we get to rejoice in Jesus’ birth and all he has done for us by glorifying him with music.
We have all seen how full the stands, bleachers and theaters get with supporters of our excellent sports teams and theater casts, so why not come and show the same support for all the students who devote time to using their gifts of music in the music department. Help us begin December the right way and celebrate Christ’s coming this weekend. We look forward to seeing you there!