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Christmas music concerts set tone for celebration of season

Posted: Nov 22, 2013

Olivet’s Department of Music will present two special performances — featuring students and faculty — for the Christmas season at the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel in early December.

On Friday, December 6, 2013, at 7 p.m.,“Sounds of the Season” continues the celebration of Christmas in grand style with innovative performances of favorite holiday music.

Musical interpretations presented by the Mass Choral Ensemble, Harp Ensemble, Flute Choir, Bronze Handbell Ensemble, Testament Men’s Choir, Chrysalis Women’s Choir, Orpheus Choir, Proclamation Gospel Choir, Concert Singers and others showcase the performers’ many talents. Dr. Jeffery Bell, music professor, will conduct the Orpheus Choir and read an original Christmas prose piece.

Seating is not reserved for this concert. Centennial Chapel will open to concert attendees at 5:30 p.m., and the Chapel’s Crawford Auditorium will open for seating beginning at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, at 6 p.m.,the 78th annual production of Handel’s “Messiah” expresses the life of Jesus Christ in music. Composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel in just 24 days, it is still one of the most popular works in Western choral literature. “Hallelujah” is undoubtedly its most well-known chorus.

The University Orchestra and University String Ensemble, including the harpsichord and the Ruffatti pipe organ, will provide musical accompaniment. Dr. Neal Woodruff, music professor, will conduct with Dr. Bell as organist.

Student soloists are Ashley Raffauf, soprano (senior, Homewood, Ill.); Seth Lowery, tenor (senior, Kankakee, Ill.); David Rice, baritone (senior, Traverse City, Mich.); Lillian Guenseth, alto (senior, Galesburg, Ill.); Ben Geeding, bass (senior, Manteno, Ill.); Emily Fernette, soprano (junior, Owosso, Mich.); Taihla Eddins, alto (junior, Bloomington, Ill.).

There is no charge to attend either event, and seats are not reserved. For more information, call 815-939-5110 or email