Music Department to present Lessons and Carols Sunday

by Amy HaugeStaff Writer

Simpson’s music department will host its annual holiday event, Lessons and Carols, on Dec. 7 with services at 2 and 5 p.m. in Smith Chapel.

“It’s a wonderful way to kick off the holidays before finals,” Tim McMillin, choir director and instructor of music, said.

Audience members get more than just an average music concert during Lessons and Carols.

“It’s a beautiful service with fantastic music,” senior Colt Ballou, choir member and organist, said. “Besides listening to the ensembles, you get to sing many of your favorite Christmas carols.”

The festival of nine lessons and carols originated at King’s College in Cambridge, Mass. on Christmas Eve in 1918. Nine lessons and carols is a service of Christian worship that celebrates the birth of Jesus.

The story is told in nine short Bible readings of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus. The singing of Christmas carols and hymns follows each lesson.

One of the most well known versions is broadcasted annually at King’s College.

This service has been broadcasted since 1928, with the exception of 1930. The service has become the standard format for schools’ Christmas carol services in the United Kingdom.

Each year, the congregation of King’s College Chapel and millions of listeners around the world wait for the start of Lessons and Carols, while here at Simpson students and community members can experience.

“It’s all about Christmas,” junior choir member Heather Weeda said. “This service offers a wide variety of styles of music and allows you to participate in certain pieces.”

There are nine lessons that are the same each year. Each lesson is read to the congregation and consists of scriptures from the Bible, followed by carols that are sung by the choir and congregation.

Students play the organ, piano and brass.

There are also classical pieces the choir will be singing which are in English and Latin. McMillin is in charge of putting the music together.

Faculty Organist Carl Gravander will be playing a piece with other student organists and Dr. Robert Larsen and Dr. Michael Eckerty, both band directors, will be leading the brass piece.

The chapel will be decorated with a Christmas tree and various other Christmas decorations. Each of the two services on Sunday will last about an hour and a half.

“Be sure to come early for a great seat,” McMillin said. “It will fill up quickly because it is open to everyone. This sets the tone for a great season ahead.”