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'Christmas at Monmouth' merges two holiday traditions

11/27/2018
MONMOUTH, Ill. – This year’s annual Monmouth College “Christmas at Monmouth” concert will merge with the College’s annual Christmas convocation to create a can’t-miss holiday program.

Five Monmouth musical ensembles will perform during “Christmas at Monmouth: The Realms of Glory,” which will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The program is free and open to the public, although donations are welcome.

“This year we are combining the Christmas convocation with ‘Christmas at Monmouth,’ so (College chaplain the Rev. Dr.) Teri Ott will do an opening prayer, a short message during the concert and a closing benediction,” said Tim Pahel.

Pahel directs two of the ensembles that will be perform – the Chorale and the Chamber Choir. Also performing will be the Concert Choir, the Wind Ensemble and the Chamber Orchestra.

“As was the tradition for the Christmas Convocation, we will end with ‘Silent Night’ and with everyone passing around candles and lighting them,” said Pahel. “We will, as always, have audience sing-along carols. And in the lobby in the half hour before the concert starts, we will have performances of Christmas carols by the Monmouth Brass Quintet and by our new student-led a cappella group, The Highland Harmonizers.”

Pahel said the Christmas event will begin on a special note.

“For the first time, we will open the concert with a song that features all performing groups as well as bagpipes,” he said.

The piece is “A Highland Carol” by Michael W. Smith. It starts with a bagpipe solo before the choirs, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra begin. All singers and instrumental groups will also combine near the end of the concert to perform an arrangement of “Angels from the Realms of Glory.”

In addition to music and religious studies, two other disciplines will participate in the program. English professor David Wright has written an original poem for the event, and lighting will be provided by the theatre department.

“They will bring over many lights from Wells Theater to give us lots of lighting possibilities,” said Pahel. “This concert is the only one where we have more theatrical lighting, which always adds a special feeling.”