Monmouth College will ring in the Christmas season with its traditional “Christmas at Monmouth” concert on Dec. 7 and its annual Christmas convocation on Dec. 10. Both events are open to the public.
“Christmas at Monmouth” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Kasch Performance Hall of the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. There is no admission charge for the event, which tells the Christmas story in words and music, but a $5 donation for non-students is suggested.
The Chorale, Chamber Choir and Concert Choir, all under the direction of assistant professor of music Tim Pahel, will be among the ensembles performing. One of the Chorale’s featured performances will be a Haitian noel, which is a carol in Haitian French telling the nativity story, imitating percussion and various instrument sounds. The Chamber Choir will sing Eric Whitacre’s “Lux aurumque,” which Pahel says “beautifully portrays light and gold.”
Other vocal performances will include selections by The Sassy Lassies and The Scotsmen, Monmouth’s female and male a cappella groups.
On the instrumental side, the Winds, under the direction of Matthew Wanken, and the Chamber Orchestra, directed by Carolyn Suda, will perform. The Winds will play pieces by Percy Grainger and Pavel Tchesnokov, while the Chamber Orchestra will play “Fantasia on Greensleeves” by Vaughan Williams, “In the Bleak Midwinter,” arranged by Brendan McBrien, and “The Holly and the Ivy,” arranged by Vince Gassi.
The event will also include readings about Christmas by the Rev. Dr. Teri Ott and students T.J. Hill of Rockford, Brandon Ouellette of Surprise, Ariz., Lydia Perrilles of Fairview and Johnny Williams of Kewanee.
On Dec. 10, Ott, who serves as the college’s chaplain, will deliver a Christmas message titled “Do Not Be Afraid” at the Christmas convocation at 11 a.m. in Dahl Chapel.
The traditional Christmas candlelight and communion service will also include Christmas hymns, music by the Chorale and a special contemporary piece by faculty member Dan Ott and Ouellette.