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Catawba College's annual Lessons & Carols service
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Catawba College's annual Lessons & Carols service

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Cataba College

Cataba College

SALISBURY — For the 34th consecutive year, the Catawba College Music Department will present its annual Christmas Choral Concert, a Service of Lessons and Carols. Performances will be held Nov. 29 and Dec. 2 at in the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus.

Prelude music will begin each night at 6:30 p.m. with the Service at 7 p.m. Dr. Kenneth Clapp, senior vice president and chaplain, and Dr. Phillip Burgess, dean of the Shuford School of Performing Arts and director of choral activities, organized this the service this year.

The service is based on the famous ritual that originated at King’s College in Cambridge, England, in 1919 which weaves beautiful carols of the season with scriptures or lessons, relating to the story of Christmas from the prophecies to the mystery of the Holy Trinity. The first service was held on Christmas Eve at Truro Cathedral with 400 people in attendance.

Catawba’s Lessons and Carols is seven lessons with scripture readings by the president of the student body, a member of the Salisbury-Rowan community, a member of the college administration staff, two faculty members, the Provost and the president of the college.

Some of the carols this year include “We Shall Light a Thousand Candles,” “In Christ Alone,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Who is He in Yonder Stall?”, “What Strangers are These?”, “The Word Was God,” and “This Christmastide.”

Participants in the service will include the Catawba Singers, the Catawba Men’s Ensemble, the Catawba Women’s Ensemble, and the Catawba Brass Ensemble directed by Dr. Stephen Etters, chair of the department of music and director of music education.

Tickets are not required, but seating is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis. Audience members are required to wear masks and remain socially distanced. A shuttle service will operate from various campus parking lots, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Lessons and Carols is made possible through the generosity of the Salisbury-Rowan community who provide funding for the music and decorations.

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