Vassar College presents the annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” December 6, 2015

Vassar College’s annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” a Christmas service of readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony, will be held in the Vassar Chapel on Sunday, December 6.

This popular event is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 6:30pm, with seating on a first-come first-served basis. The event begins at 7:00pm. A free will offering will also be taken to support the college's annual philanthropic campaign, Community Works, which provides funding to several Hudson Valley non-profit organizations (see

Rev. Samuel Speers, director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and assistant dean for Campus Life, said, “We encourage people to arrive early to this very popular event, which usually fills our almost 1000-seat chapel to capacity.”

The program, co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Department of Music, will feature Advent and Christmas scriptural readings and an ensemble of 170 singers, including members of the Vassar College Choir, Vassar College Women’s Chorus, the Madrigal Singers, and the Cappella Festiva Treble and Chamber Choirs. This event will feature the music of J.S. Bach, Elizabeth Poston, David Willcocks, Arvo Part, Morton Lauridsen, Linda Spevacek, Joan Szymko, and a newly commissioned work by Max Vladimiroff, Elusive Peace.

The Lessons and Carols Choir is under the direction of Christine R. Howlett and Drew Minter, members of the Vassar College Department of Music. College organist and music faculty member Gail Archer will play the Gress-Miles organ. Archer is also the director of the music program at Barnard College and conductor of the Barnard-Columbia Chorus. James Fitzwilliam provides piano accompaniment.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Friday, November 20, 2015