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Asbury University is proud to celebrate Christmas as a season of giving back to the local community. Through a variety of programs featuring music, drama and more, the Asbury “family” invites all ages to experience the Spirit of Christmas.

Songs of the Season
Dr. Marcia Hurlow reads a selection at the 2012 Songs of the Season.A highly anticipated annual collaboration between Asbury’s Music and English departments, Songs of the Season will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 in Hughes auditorium. The program, which is free and open to the public, will feature musical selections from the Asbury University Orchestra, Chorale, Men’s Glee Club and Women’s Choir, as well as literary readings from Asbury English faculty.

English and journalism professor Dr. Marcia Hurlow will read a poem by Eric Pankey called “To the Magpie on the Roof of the Manger,” as well as a poem of her own, called “The Woods Along Delaware Road in November: after Wallace Stevens.” Hurlow’s preparation for Songs of the Season always begins early — she starts in the summer.

“This is such a great event every year,” Hurlow said. “I spend my summer reading poetry keeping an eye out for poems that might fit in the Songs of the Season, so when I found Eric Pankey’s poem, ‘To the Magpie on the Roof of the Manger,’ I sent it to Dr. Holz right away. I had been reading a lot of Pankey and some other poets who were inspired by Wallace Stevens, which is where my poem came from.”

Throughout its history, Songs of the Season has been organized by music professors Dr. Ron Holz and Dr. Bea Holz (now retired). Hurlow says that this year’s Songs of the Season will be particularly special, as Ron Holz will be retiring at the end of the academic year.

“This is a significant Songs of the Season because Dr. Holz is retiring,” Hurlow said. “He and Bea have organized all of these events, and worked a long time carefully coordinating the readings and the musical pieces into a really artfully done evening.” 

Christmas in the Country
Christmas in the Country is held at Asbury's Equine Center.Come experience the creativity, storytelling and hospitality of Asbury’s equine students at the fourth annual Christmas in the Country at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5-6 at the Asbury University Equine Center. This free event will feature a creative retelling of the Christmas story using horses, written and directed by equine students. There will be live music and refreshments before and after each program. Parking will be available at the Providence School (210 S. Lexington Ave. Wilmore, KY 40390), with shuttles to the Equine Center beginning at 5 p.m.

“Our vision is to be able to give something back to the community — and what better way than to share what we do and what we love about our equine program by using horses to bring the Christmas story to life!” said junior Nicole Nystrom, director of this year’s Christmas in the Country. “It’s so great to be able to see everything coming together, piece-by-piece, as this year’s class works hard to make this a special show.”

Nystrom is excited to have an opportunity to showcase the horses she works with, as well as the various Equine Center programs which will be presented throughout the evenings.

“I am so looking forward to just being able to make an impact on the community with our production,” she said. “I am passionate about horses and about Asbury’s Equine Center, and I am excited to be able to share it with the public. I hope that we, as equine students at Asbury, can spread joy and the true meaning of Christmas from our production.

Fun for the Little Ones
Enjoy the small-town charm of Wilmore at the annual Wilmore Old-Fashioned Christmas on Dec. 7. A day-long celebration of the Christmas season, this annual community event provides a perfect opportunity for students, faculty and staff to enjoy Christmas with the Wilmore community. 

Asbury University will host a petting zoo and kids’ crafts from 4:30-7:30 at Kinlaw Library; each activity is offered free of charge. A full schedule of activities for the day is available here

Dr. Glen Flanigan, a professor in Asbury’s Music Department, is excited for Wilmore Old-Fashioned Christmas both for the unique atmosphere and the way it brings the community together.

“I like the Wilmore Old-Fashioned Christmas because it’s small-town America at its best,” he said. “I just love the hometown atmosphere and the sense of community at the event, and we look forward to it every year.”

The Zweifel/Pritchett Classic
Asbury’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will take to the court for a tournament spanning Dec. 5, 6 and 7. Check Asbury’s athletic pages for individual game times throughout the weekend.

–by Joel Sams ’15