“It is a pleasure for us to give this gift to the Anderson community,” said Dr. Jeffrey E. Wright, dean of the AU College of the Arts.
More than 250 AU students from the School of Music, Theatre and Dance will participate, including the Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Susan Taylor; the Chamber Orchestra, directed by Gert Kumi; the Chorale and Men’s Choir, directed by Dr. Richard Sowers; the Women’s Chorus, directed by Dr. Joani Brandon; and the Dance Ensemble, choreographed by Shauna Steele.
“It’s presented in a traditional format that people would recognize. And it’s all of the ensembles,” said Steele, AU assistant professor of dance. “So it’s very much a representation of the caliber of the instrumentation and movement that the School of Music, Theatre and Dance has.”
The concert will consist of holiday, Christmas or faith selections. “So in some way it’s connected to these holidays we celebrate between November and January,” Steele said.
She explained that an African-based song was an example of the more contemporary fare, while “The Dance of the Mirlitons” from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” might be better known.
The concert also allows students and faculty a chance to perform together.
“It’s not just a gift to the community, it’s also a gift to the students,” Steele said. “They have the opportunity to participate in many of the ensembles, in different styles and formats and to actually perform with their faculty, which is a unique thing that you don’t get to do at a lot of universities, to actually perform as peers with your faculty instructors.”
“Feelings of togetherness, the excitement of singing traditional Christmas hymns with thousands of friends, and hearing the familiar strains of ‘Silent Night’ echoing through the auditorium in the glow of the candlelight encourage audience members to return to Candles and Carols each year,” states an AU release.
The audience will have the opportunity to participate in the program through congregational singing and the candle lighting ceremony at the conclusion of the evening.
AU’s Covenant Productions will tape the event which is distributed exclusively through American Public Television. The program will air through December. Covenant Productions will also produce a DVD and CD of the program. DVDs are $16 each and CDs are $12 each (with an additional $2 per order for shipping and handling) and may be ordered by calling the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at 641-4450.
— Randy Rendfeld is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin. Story republished with permission.
Anderson University is a private Christian university in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.), Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.