Annual service is college's gift to community

Annual service is college's gift to community

Dec. 3, 2014

LaGrange College will present its annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at 7:30 p.m. Sunday in Callaway Auditorium.

The Rev. Adam Roberts, Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life, and Dr. Beth Everett, the college's new choral director, are planning the event. Both in their first year at the college, they said they feel a sense of responsibility to continue the tradition.

"This has become the college's gift to the community, and we want to make sure it is meaningful and memorable," Roberts said.

Although the readings throughout the service are traditional, Everett said she has found ways to be more creative with the music.

"Some of the pieces will be a little livelier," she said. "One of the songs has a Jamaican feel, while we will have music that will feature four hands on one piano, as well as our percussion ensemble. And of course, we will have a live orchestra."

She said she's also tried to find a way to have the congregation more involved.

"We're including a lot more congregational carols this year," she said. "There will be a couple of times the congregation will sing with the choir and the orchestra. I don't want this to be a performance – it is a service to be shared with one another."

Everett said she has been working with Kim Barber Knoll in Theatre Arts for something a little special.

"I don't want to say too much, but we hope it will be something that people will leave and say, 'Wow, I'm glad I didn't miss that. I wonder what they will do next year.'"

Roberts and Everett said one of their main goals with the service is for it to represent everyone.

"We've invited the new Korean pastor at First United Methodist Church to be a reader," Roberts said. "It is very important that every constituency at the college and in our community is represented, a tangible way to show that Lessons and Carols belongs to everyone, not just the college."

The event is free and open to the public.

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