The annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” a Christmas program of readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony, will be held at the Vassar Chapel on Sunday, December 8, beginning at 7:00pm. This popular event is free and open to the public with seating on a first-come first-served basis, and is co-sponsored by the Vassar Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Department of Music. A free-will offering will also be taken to support the college's Community Works Campaign, which raises funds for a group of ten local non-profit agencies nominated by Vassar employees and students (http://communityworks.vassar.edu/).
Rev. Samuel Speers, the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Office, said, “We encourage people to arrive early to this community celebration, which usually fills the thousand seats of the Chapel to capacity.”
The 140-singer Lessons and Carols Choir will perform carols by Anton Bruckner, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, and James Bassi. They will also sing the world premiere of “The True Light” by Canadian composer Leonard Enns, a work commissioned by the music department, that will feature Elisabeth Romano, bassoon, Allison Rubin, oboe, and James Fitzwilliam, piano. Music professors Christine R. Howlett and Drew Minter co-direct the ensemble, which includes singers from the Vassar College Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Women’s Chorus, as well as the local Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir.
Vassar College organist and music professor Gail Archer will be heard on the historic chapel’s Gress-Miles organ, and the program will include a hammered dulcimer performance of “Noel Nouvelet” by Jeff Walker, an Earth Science professor and noted local musician. Additionally, students and other members of the Vassar community will give Advent and Christmas scriptural readings.
Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (http://www.vassar.edu).
The college is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.