Follow Christ, Lead the Way
Behind the Scenes: Inside Festival of Carols image

By Amber Ginter ‘19

Behind the scenes, behind the curtains of this year’s Festival of Carols, the perspective is different for the eyes of this observer, who happens to be part of the creative moment team.  The choirs warm their vocal cords until their voices float in glorious harmonies across the auditorium. The actors labor in hectic preparation to perform with excellence and seeming effortlessness.

Learning choreography with live choirs singing was a challenge that Movements from the Heart (MFTH), the creative movement team, met in the practice time afforded before the first performance for the audience. Performing “Joyful, Joyful” and “Janeman” gave MFTH opportunity to be a blessing through creative movement.

The ensemble of choirs, solo vocalists, and musicians gave a unified performance pleasant to the ear and warming of the heart. Performers worked as one, as, similarly, Christ encourages followers to be His body to complete His will. From the orchestra sitzprobe (seated rehearsal) to early-morning preparation, the performers give heart and soul so that the Good News would touch the audience.

Addressing the Festival’s purpose, Stage Director Valerie Jones explains these productions require the close teamwork of those who wish to lead others to worship Him. The University’s largest event, the Festival celebrates Jesus’ birth creatively year after year.

Working with Director of the University Chorale Dione Bennett since January, Jones interprets Bennett's vision and creates a drama that will move audiences. Of the theme, Jones says, “Her vision was ‘peace on earth,’ showing Christmas celebrations across the globe. It’s new and visually stunning, including lighting and culture themes for the carols with movements by drama and creative movement teams. It’s exciting to have the groups celebrating Christ’s birth together.”

The Gospel is proclaimed through different ethnic expressions. As Bennett explains, “These performances show praising Christ happens in many cultures. We should worship together, offering peace on earth that pushes others to find Christian faith."

Featured carols were "Around the World at Christmas Time,” “March of the Toy Soldiers,” and “Christmas Festival,” followed by the main event chorus of “Betelehemu,” “Huron Carol,” “Still, Still, Still,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Star of Wonder Medley,” “Joyful, Joyful,” “Janeman,” “All Praise to Thee,” and “I heard the Bells.” 

Festival of Carols: Peace on Earth brought hope to attendees during this Advent season.

Articles of Interest

2019 Graduates Celebrate Commencement image

2019 Graduates Celebrate Commencement

2019 Graduates Celebrate Commencement image

Published: May 5, 2019

On Saturday, May 4, 2019, Ohio Christian University held its 70th-year Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. There were 664 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates invited to the Ohio ceremony that earned their degrees. Kristen Muzzy was the 2019 Commencement Address speaker. Muzzy is the President and co-founder of the World Alliance for the Volunteer Economy or WAVE. As a survivor of human trafficking, Muzzy spoke about God’s love and the plan He had for her trials in bringing her closer to Him. In her early life, she felt like the
On Saturday, May 4, 2019, Ohio Christian University held its 70th-year Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. There were 664 associate, bachelor, and master level graduates invited to the Ohio ceremony that earned their degrees. Kristen Muzzy was the 2019 Commencement Address speaker. Muzzy is the President and co-founder of the World Alliance for the
On Saturday, May 4, 2019, Ohio Christian University held its 70th-year Commencement Ceremonies at the university’s main campus in Circleville, Ohio. There were 664 associate, bachelor, and master
Community Action Day - It was a GREAT Day! image

Community Action Day - It was a GREAT Day!

Community Action Day - It was a GREAT Day! image

Published: April 18, 2019

April 11th proved to not just be a nice day to be outside, but a great day to serve the community of Circleville and surrounding areas. In its 20thyear, Community Action Day brought out over 400 students to serve residents and businesses who were in need. A tradition at Ohio Christian University, classes were canceled, and students were able to go into the public and implement the service attitude taught at OCU.  With help from Volunteer Economy and RPHF Solid Waste District, students were equipped to effectively serve and feel prepared to do so. Students served in various capacities
April 11th proved to not just be a nice day to be outside, but a great day to serve the community of Circleville and surrounding areas. In its 20thyear, Community Action Day brought out over 400 students to serve residents and businesses who were in need. A tradition at Ohio Christian University, classes were canceled, and students were able to go into the public and implement the service
April 11th proved to not just be a nice day to be outside, but a great day to serve the community of Circleville and surrounding areas. In its 20thyear, Community Action Day brought out over 400
OCU To Hold Nashville Styled Songwriting Boot Camp image

OCU To Hold Nashville Styled Songwriting Boot Camp

OCU To Hold Nashville Styled Songwriting Boot Camp image

Published: March 25, 2019

by Keegan D’Alfonso   Ohio Christian University will hold its first songwriting conference on March 30 from 9:00 am to 5 pm. Michelle Martin, Coordinator of Worship Arts at OCU, envisioned this event after experiencing many similar writing workshops in Nashville, TN. “My heart for the day was just to create an opportunity for song writers in central Ohio to come together and get an experience like they might get in Nashville if they went to a songwriting conference,” Martin said. “The order of events is very similar to the conferences I’ve been to.” The event will be held in OCU’s
by Keegan D’Alfonso   Ohio Christian University will hold its first songwriting conference on March 30 from 9:00 am to 5 pm. Michelle Martin, Coordinator of Worship Arts at OCU, envisioned this event after experiencing many similar writing workshops in Nashville, TN. “My heart for the day was just to create an opportunity for song writers in central Ohio to come together and get an
by Keegan D’Alfonso   Ohio Christian University will hold its first songwriting conference on March 30 from 9:00 am to 5 pm. Michelle Martin, Coordinator of Worship Arts at OCU, envisioned this
OCU Scholars Day 2019 Has Big Winners! image

OCU Scholars Day 2019 Has Big Winners!

OCU Scholars Day 2019 Has Big Winners! image

Published: March 22, 2019

Each year Ohio Christian University conducts a Scholars Day where applicants compete for over $300,000 worth of scholarships. Scholars Day provides an opportunity to compete for the Creative Communities Scholarship, the Ohio's Future Scholarship and the Homeschool Excellence Scholarship, which are each worth $50,000 and guarantee a coveted internship position. Also awarded is OCU’s highest scholarship, the Distinguished Trailblazer Scholarship, which covers all tuition costs for a four year degree. During Scholars Day, students compete for the full-ride tuition scholarship to OCU
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Each year Ohio Christian University conducts a Scholars Day where applicants compete for over $300,000 worth of scholarships. Scholars Day provides an opportunity to compete for the Creative
State Representative Rick Carfagna Visits Campus image

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State Representative Rick Carfagna Visits Campus image

Published: March 11, 2019

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On Friday, March 8th, State Representative Rick Carfagna (Chair, Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education) visited Ohio Christian University (OCU). He was welcomed to the president’s office by Dr. Jon Kulaga (President), Ted Perry (Chief Financial Officer) and Craig Brown (Chief Relationship Officer) where the group discussed multiple partnerships related to micro-credentialing,
On Friday, March 8th, State Representative Rick Carfagna (Chair, Finance Subcommittee on Higher Education) visited Ohio Christian University (OCU). He was welcomed to the president’s office by Dr.

Archived Articles of Interest

OCU Music Department Welcomes New Vocal Adjunct image

OCU Music Department Welcomes New Vocal Adjunct

OCU Music Department Welcomes New Vocal Adjunct image

Published: August 14, 2013

The OCU Music Department welcomes Dr. Dione Bennett as its newest adjunct voice and choral faculty member. Dr. Bennett brings to her position a background in classical singing and gospel music, a deep commitment to Christ, and a love for vocal instruction.Her voice has been heard in operas, recitals, and oratorios both nationwide and internationally. She has performed Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen, Bess in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess; Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème; Suor Genevieffa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, to name a few. She has also appeared as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s
The OCU Music Department welcomes Dr. Dione Bennett as its newest adjunct voice and choral faculty member. Dr. Bennett brings to her position a background in classical singing and gospel music, a deep commitment to Christ, and a love for vocal instruction.Her voice has been heard in operas, recitals, and oratorios both nationwide and internationally. She has performed Micaela in Bizet’s
The OCU Music Department welcomes Dr. Dione Bennett as its newest adjunct voice and choral faculty member. Dr. Bennett brings to her position a background in classical singing and gospel music, a
OCU Community Garden '13 image

OCU Community Garden '13

OCU Community Garden '13 image

Published: August 1, 2013

Ohio Christian University is, once again, diving into their Community Garden Project. They received a grant $60,000 last year from the Arington Foundation. Dr. Rick Christman is providing oversight for the project this year and pushing through some big obstacles. The rain has been great, but makes it hard for upkeep. We currently have 4 employees that maintain the garden by weeding, watering, harvesting, as well as marketing and sales of produce. We are growing a wide range of crops including tomatoes, corn, a variety of peppers, squash, zucchini, etc. Produce is also given to local
Ohio Christian University is, once again, diving into their Community Garden Project. They received a grant $60,000 last year from the Arington Foundation. Dr. Rick Christman is providing oversight for the project this year and pushing through some big obstacles. The rain has been great, but makes it hard for upkeep. We currently have 4 employees that maintain the garden by weeding, watering
Ohio Christian University is, once again, diving into their Community Garden Project. They received a grant $60,000 last year from the Arington Foundation. Dr. Rick Christman is providing oversight
OCU Receives Music Grant image

OCU Receives Music Grant

OCU Receives Music Grant image

Published: July 31, 2013

Ohio Christian University (OCU) announced that the Miriam Ruggles Adkins Foundation of Pickaway County has awarded OCU a grant in order to support the concert activities of the university. Over the past six years, the OCU Music Department has actively endeavored to contribute to the musical culture of Pickaway County by hosting free concerts with musical artists from around the state and the nation.  “We are so excited and grateful that the Miriam Ruggles Adkins Foundation has made this gesture of support for our efforts to bring great music and musicians to Pickaway County,” said OCU
Ohio Christian University (OCU) announced that the Miriam Ruggles Adkins Foundation of Pickaway County has awarded OCU a grant in order to support the concert activities of the university. Over the past six years, the OCU Music Department has actively endeavored to contribute to the musical culture of Pickaway County by hosting free concerts with musical artists from around the state and the
Ohio Christian University (OCU) announced that the Miriam Ruggles Adkins Foundation of Pickaway County has awarded OCU a grant in order to support the concert activities of the university. Over the
OCU Announces Application for Federal Grant image

OCU Announces Application for Federal Grant

OCU Announces Application for Federal Grant image

Published: June 5, 2013

Ohio Christian University would like to announce its application for a federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant. This grant will help fund the development of the proposed Southern Gateway Economic Innovation Development Center, on the campus of Ohio Christian University. The proposed project is 2 miles east of the city of Circleville in Pickaway County. Project design drawings (for download, below) will be made available for public review and comments for 30 days beginning on 6/10/13.All interested persons wishing to express their views concerning the project may submit
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Ohio Christian Dedicates New Student Center image

Ohio Christian Dedicates New Student Center

Ohio Christian Dedicates New Student Center image

Published: March 25, 2013

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Ohio Christian University (OCU) conducted a dedication ceremony for its 30,000 square foot, $6 million Dean and Diana Hickman Student Center on March 23rd. The building includes a cafeteria, café, bookstore, intramural gym space, game room, classrooms, and offices. The building was needed to support the rapidly growing student body at OCU.The building is named after Dean and Diana Hickman
Ohio Christian University (OCU) conducted a dedication ceremony for its 30,000 square foot, $6 million Dean and Diana Hickman Student Center on March 23rd. The building includes a cafeteria, café,