Strings, Bells and Choirs: Sounds of Christmas

WILMORE, Ky. — ‘Tis the season for the Asbury University Music Department to usher in the Christmas holidays with a variety of performances. Each event is free and open to the public; an offering will be taken during “Messiah” to support the production.

Songs of the Season

Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Akers Auditorium

A collaboration between the English and Music departments, “Songs of the Season” features a medley of readings by English faculty and chamber ensemble music. The readings draw from sources ranging from contemporary American poets to medieval mystics and famous prose excerpts, while the music groups include the Piano Trio, Violin Trio, combined String Ensemble and Brass Quartet. The audience will also join the fun for several familiar carols.

A reception will be held following the program at the Salvation Army Student Fellowship Student Center (upper level), where the Asbury University Jazz Ensemble will entertain with an informal program.

Asbury's orchestra and combined choirs will sing Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 2.
Asbury's orchestra and combined choirs will sing Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 2.

Handel’s “Messiah”

Sunday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. in Hughes Auditorium

Every four years, the combined choirs of the Chorale, Women’s Choir and Men’s Glee Club join the Asbury University Orchestra to present G.F. Handel’s “Messiah,” a musical masterpiece that involves nearly 150 students, faculty and staff.

“We want every student to have the opportunity to perform this work during the course of their studies, while exploring other great works in alternate seasons,” said Dr. Beatrice Holz, professor of voice and music education and conductor of this year’s performance of “Messiah.”

The performance will focus on the traditional Christmas portion of “Messiah,” Part I, though several selections from Part II, including the famous “Hallelujah Chorus,” also will be included. Student vocal and string soloists will be featured throughout.

“‘Messiah’ ranks as one of, if not the most, performed works of classical art music,” said Asbury University Orchestra Director Dr. Ron Holz. “Its popularity can be attributed to many factors, but perhaps above all to Handel’s superb ability to set scripture in such a way that it comes alive in the hearts and minds of listeners. He is a superb musical dramatist, and while ‘Messiah’ is not a narrative oratorio, it is a wonderful embodiment in sound and word of the Christian concept of Redemption through Christ our Lord.”

Christmas Music Chapel

Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. in Hughes Auditorium

An annual tradition, the Christmas Music Chapel offers students, faculty, staff and community members a chance to relax in the midst of finals preparation to the sounds of Asbury’s own music ensembles. This year, the Concert Band and Handbell Choir will perform traditional and contemporary arrangements.

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