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Ouachita to present “A Service of Lessons and Carols” on Dec. 6

Ouachita SingersNovember 17, 2022 - Kaelin Clay

Ouachita Baptist University’s Division of Music will present its 24th annual “A Service of Lessons and Carols” on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in McBeth Recital Hall. The service is free and open to the public.

A Service of Lessons and Carols features Advent scripture reading alternated with Christmas carols, inviting audience members to explore and celebrate Jesus’ birth and sing along to familiar songs.

The Ouachita Singers, featured choral ensemble for the evening, is directed by Dr. Joshua Brown, director of choral activities at Ouachita.

“Lessons and Carols is a time-honored Ouachita tradition,” Brown said. “I’m looking forward to this year’s service, as Ouachita Singers are taking more of a lead role.”

The observance dates to 1880 in rural England, but Ouachita has contributed its own elements – such as featuring a different translation of Scripture in the program every year. This year’s readings will come from the New International Version and include passages from Genesis, Isaiah, Luke, Matthew and John.

Scripture readers representing Ouachita students, faculty and staff include Craig Crawford, a senior instrumental performance major from Texarkana, Texas; Brandon Holloway, a sophomore vocal performance major from Little Rock, Ark.; Cody Kehmeier, a senior choral music education major from Bentonville, Ark.; Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president; Dr. Natilan Crutcher, visiting assistant professor of music; Candice Aipperspach, associate professor of music; Laurie Huneycutt, administrative assistant to the dean of the School of Fine Arts; Dr. Justin Hardin, vice president for academic affairs and dean of interdisciplinary studies; and Dr. Caroline Taylor, interim chair of the Division of Music.

Dr. Ryan Lewis, interim dean of the School of Fine Arts, will deliver the introduction; Eryn Riley, a senior choral music education major from Fort Smith, Ark., will offer the invitation; and Dr. Lewis Shepherd, vice president for community and intercultural engagement, will end the program with a blessing.

“There’s a variety of choral repertoire,” said Brown. Music to be featured includes the traditional carols “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Lo, How a Rose” and “Joy to the World”; “Once in Royal David’s City,” by Sufjan Stevens; “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” by Charles Wesley; “Beati Quorum Via,” by Charles Villiers Stanford; “Mary’s Lullaby,” by John Rutter; “Glory to God from Messiah,” from George Frederic Handel’s Messiah; and “The Glory of the Father,” by Egil Hovland. The audience is invited to join the choir in song for some of the selections.

In addition to the chorus, Dr. Ian Aipperspach, lecturer in music and accompanist, will play the McBeth Pipe Organ, which will turn 35 in 2023.

For more information, contact Dr. Joshua Brown at brownj@obu.edu or (870) 245-5143.

Photo by Levi Dade

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