Release date: Nov. 27, 2001
Contact: Deb Hammacher, Associate Director, 404-727-0644, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Kicks off Yuletide
WHO: Emory University Chorus and Concert Choir, Conductor Mary Hoffman
WHAT: Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
WHEN: 8:15 p.m. Dec. 7, 2001, 5 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Dec. 8, 2001
WHERE: Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Rd., Emory.
COST: $10 general admission. 404-727-5050 or send e-mail to email@example.com
For many Atlantans, the start of the Yuletide season begins with Emory
Universitys annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. Performed
by the Emory University Chorus and Concert Choir, the program is based
on the traditional Christmas service at Kings College Chapel in
Cambridge, England. This magical melding of scripture lessons read in
conjunction with the performance of international carols has been an
Atlanta tradition since 1935.
The local tradition of Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols grew out
of Christmas concerts first performed at Atlantas First Presbyterian
Church in 1925. The annual event moved to Glenn Memorial Church upon
its completion in 1931, and the current format of Festival of Nine Lessons
and Carols was adopted in 1935 and has met widespread popular and critical
acclaim ever since.
The festival is filled with traditions such as the opening candlelight
procession of the choir singing "Once in Royal Davids City"
and the closing singing of "Silent Night." The service was
developed in 1880 by E.W. Benson, bishop of Truro. The local tradition
is so strong that several families who moved away from the area reunite
at the concert every year in the same spot of the balcony, according
to Eric Nelson, director of choral activities at Emory.
This years festival features the University Chorus of more than
150 singers, conducted by Mary Hoffman, with graduate student Jon Marc
Rutherford as pianist and Timothy Albrecht as organist. In addition,
Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, presidential distinguished professor of anthropology,
African American studies and women studies will be reading at the 5
p.m. performance on Dec. 8.
"The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols draws from the community
traditional concert goers who look to be enriched by the comfort of
familiar words and music," says Hoffman. "I feel that by performing
pieces like Scarborough Carol, which combines the text of
Away in a Manger with the music of Scarborough Fair,
we can provide our audience with that familiarity that soothes them
and brings them back to the center of their lives."
Another crowd-pleaser this year is Cornelius "The Three Kings"
to be sung by the men of the University Chorus. "I chose this piece
because it shows the strength of our mens chorus and honors Emorys
rich heritage of male a cappella groups," says Hoffman.
Hoffman, an alumna of Emory, sees the opportunity to direct this years
performance as " a great honor" and says she is "excited
to see her fellow alumni return for the Festival each year."
The complete program is as follows:
The Processional Carol
Irby, "Once in Royal Davids City"
The Bidding Prayer
J. S. Bach, "Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light" from
Christmas Oratorio: University Chorus
The First Lesson
Pie Cantones, "Of the Fathers Heart Begotten": University
The Second Lesson
Clausen, "All that Hath Life and Breath, Praise Ye the Lord":
The Third Lesson
Armstrong, "Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus": Concert Choir
Gardner, "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day": University Chorus
The Fourth Lesson
Redner, "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
The Fifth Lesson
Traditional English Carol, "Joys Seven": Women of the University
Traditional English Carol, "Bring a Torch": Jeanette Isabella,
Organist Timothy Albrecht
The Sixth Lesson
Poulenc, "Hodie Christs natus est": Concert Choir
Rudolph, "Hodie Christs natus est": University Choir
The Seventh Lesson
Poulenc, "Quem vidistis postores dicite": Concert Choir
Traditional English Carol, "Scarborough Carol": University
The Eighth Lesson
Cornelius, "The Three Kings": Men of the University Chorus
Traditional English Carol, "The Waits Carol": University
The Ninth Lesson
"Adeste Fideles," arr. Willcocks, "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
The Collects for Christmas
The Recessional Carol
Mendelssohn, arr. Willcocks, "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing":
Congregation and choirs
The Choral Response
German trad. and Gruber, arr. Purifoy and Schram, "Still, Still,
Still/Silent Night": University Chorus
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