November 9, 2023
The Asbury University Music and English Departments welcome the public to a free concert on December 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Hughes Auditorium. The event will feature seasonal music blended with readings of poetry and prose inspired by Advent and Christmas. Special guest Mark Ridenour ’81 (assistant principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) will serve as a guest soloist, playing in the orchestra, brass ensemble, and Chorale. Click here to watch the live-stream.
“Songs of the Season is a wonderful gift to the community,” said Asbury University President Dr. Kevin Brown. “It fosters an atmosphere that is both worshipful and sacred—attributes that characterize the best of the Advent season and our hope and celebration of Jesus Christ as Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23).”
Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Nathan Miller ’05 serves as the orchestra director and coordinator of the event.
“This year’s concert will lean into the wonder and expectation of the coming Christ-child,” Miller said. “Aesthetically, this concert will place the audience on the hills and under the stars with shepherds outside Jerusalem, and with people of all times and places who sit in holy expectation.”
Miller shared that this evening of art will prepare hearts and minds for Christmas with moments of nostalgia, joy, and celebration.
“I particularly enjoy the collaboration with the English and Music Departments,” Miller said. “In my mind, this event embodies what is best about Asbury: It is an interdisciplinary liberal arts event created by students and faculty together, in a way that engages the heart and mind in reflection and worship of the Messiah.”
Professor of English Dr. Devin Brown shares about his department’s participation.
“Each member of the English department selects two readings – poetry, a memoire, or a short prose piece – and then the music department picks one for each faculty member to read and weaves the selection in with the musical offerings,” Brown said. “The evening focuses not only on Advent and Christmas, but also the season of winter itself as a time filled with wonder and awe reflected in the natural world.”
Emily Hurt ’24 will play violin in the orchestra for her fourth year in a row at Asbury University.
“I love Songs of the Season because it is an intimate and reflective time for our campus to come together and celebrate Christ’s birth through music,” Hurt said.
The Asbury University Music Department offers majors in Music (with emphases in composition and arranging, instrumental performance, pre-music therapy, vocal performance, and church music leadership) and Music Education (with emphases in general music education, instrumental music education, vocal/choral education, and combined instrumental/vocal education) with a minor in Music. Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/music/.
The Asbury University English Department offers majors in English, Creative Writing, and English (Grades 8-12) and a minor in Creative Writing. Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/english/.