Festival of Carols Captures an Authentic Christmas
The annual Festival of Carols as performed by the 170-member Alma
College Choir marks the beginning of Advent, the four-week period
leading up to Christmas.
“The carols reflect the sacred nature of the season and for many rekindle memories of Christmas Eve services,” says Choir Director Will Nichols. “The concert is a community celebration that draws an audience from all over mid-Michigan. All are welcome.”
Performances are sung at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 in the Remick Heritage Center at Alma College. Concert tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors 62 and up, $3 for youth 18 and under, and free for Alma College faculty, staff and students. Seating is reserved. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket information.
The 170-member Alma College Choir performs the "Festival of Carols."
The singers represent the Women’s Glee Club, the College Chorale
and the Alma College Choir. Joining the choir for this year’s concert
will be members of the Alma College Kiltie Marching Band and Alma
The great carols of Christmas form the program. As in years past, the concert will open with the processional carol “O Come All Ye Faithful,” with the famous descant by Sir David Willcocks. Also new this year is an arrangement by Nichols and Alma pianist Anthony Patterson for “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
Other carols include “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “The Sussex Carol,” “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” “Lo Ere Blooming,” “The Inn Keepers Carol,” “Pat-a-pan,” “Ding Dong Merrily on High” and “Still, Still, Still.”
The singers and audience know that the Festival of Carols is a Rudolph- and Frosty-free zone.
“Our hope is that the concert captures something more authentic and beautiful about the Christmas season,” says Nichols. “There is a need to sing—and hear—the wonderful music that tells the Christmas story so beautifully.”
The Alma College Choirs have always given concerts of Christmas music, but the Festival of Carols was created in 1993 with the opening of the Heritage Center for the Performing Arts. Presbyterian Hall provides a beautiful physical and acoustical setting for the concert, but the Hall only seats an audience of 500, so second and third performances were added to accommodate the growing audience.
The audience for the Festival of Carols is the most diverse audience all year, says Nichols.
“Alma College students come to hear their friends singing, and parents and grandparents and siblings always attend,” he says. “But the Festival of Carols also draws many community members who have no other connection to the College or the Choirs than a deep love for the carols of Christmas and a desire to share the holiday spirit among friends and neighbors.”
Posted: Sun, November 23rd, 2008 at 8:33AM