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
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
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

State Representative Rick Carfagna Visits Campus

State Representative Rick Carfagna Visits Campus image

Published: March 11, 2019

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, entrepreneurship and workforce development for regional incumbent industry. Rep. Carfagna received a campus tour from OCU students, then ended his time on campus with a meeting in the Robert W. Plaster Free
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 Musicians Featured at Local Scholarship Gala image

OCU Musicians Featured at Local Scholarship Gala

OCU Musicians Featured at Local Scholarship Gala image

Published: October 27, 2016

The Ted Lewis Museum’s Fifth Annual Scholarship Gala “Steppin’ Out at the Ted Lewis Club” occurred earlier this month on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. Patrons arrived in black tie or 1920’s period dress for the occasion. They were served by a full service staff of uniformed doormen, elevator operators, maître d’ and waiters. The five course meal was recreated from the menu of Rector’s Restaurant in New York, where Ted Lewis made his debut playing clarinet and leading Earl Fuller’s Famous Jazz Band 100 years ago.   The event featured an exciting floor show and dancing to the music of
The Ted Lewis Museum’s Fifth Annual Scholarship Gala “Steppin’ Out at the Ted Lewis Club” occurred earlier this month on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. Patrons arrived in black tie or 1920’s period dress for the occasion. They were served by a full service staff of uniformed doormen, elevator operators, maître d’ and waiters. The five course meal was recreated from the menu of Rector’s
The Ted Lewis Museum’s Fifth Annual Scholarship Gala “Steppin’ Out at the Ted Lewis Club” occurred earlier this month on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. Patrons arrived in black tie or 1920’s period
OCU Music at the Pumpkin Show image

OCU Music at the Pumpkin Show

OCU Music at the Pumpkin Show image

Published: October 24, 2016

The annual Circleville Pumpkin Show took place downtown Circleville, OH this last week from October 19-23. On Wednesday, October 19, the OCU Chorale performed God with percussionist John Dunn, and God is Here featuring soloist Jacquelyn Patty. The Chorale
The annual Circleville Pumpkin Show took place downtown Circleville, OH this last week from October 19-23. On Wednesday, October 19, the OCU Chorale performed God with percussionist John Dunn, and God is Here featuring soloist Jacquelyn Patty. The Chorale
The annual Circleville Pumpkin Show took place downtown Circleville, OH this last week from October 19-23. On Wednesday, October 19, the OCU Chorale performed God with percussionist John Dunn, and 
OCU Now Offering English and History majors image

OCU Now Offering English and History majors

OCU Now Offering English and History majors image

Published: October 14, 2016

Ohio Christian University students can now major or minor in English or History. The programs were created because OCU is awaiting approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Education in Adolescence to Young Adult Education (high school teacher education program) with majors in integrated language arts, math, science, and social studies. The courses were already created and the decision was made to offer these as stand-alone degrees. The degrees are available to students in the Adult and Graduate Studies Program or Residential Undergraduate Program.   About the English Program OCU's
Ohio Christian University students can now major or minor in English or History. The programs were created because OCU is awaiting approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Education in Adolescence to Young Adult Education (high school teacher education program) with majors in integrated language arts, math, science, and social studies. The courses were already created and the decision was
Ohio Christian University students can now major or minor in English or History. The programs were created because OCU is awaiting approval to offer a Bachelor of Science in Education in
Dr. Rebecca Johnson serves as President of MTNA image

Dr. Rebecca Johnson serves as President of MTNA

Dr. Rebecca Johnson serves as President of MTNA image

Published: October 5, 2016

Rebecca Grooms Johnson, PhD, NCTM, is currently serving as President of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) – a professional organization of approximately 22,000 private and university music teachers. During the summer of 2016 she traveled extensively as a representative of MTNA and presenter. Immediately after chairing a 3-day meeting of the Board of Directors in July, Dr. Johnson flew to Europe, where she presented a 60-minute session on developing self-direction in adult music students at the International Society of Music Education (ISME) in Glasgow, Scotland. Following
Rebecca Grooms Johnson, PhD, NCTM, is currently serving as President of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) – a professional organization of approximately 22,000 private and university music teachers. During the summer of 2016 she traveled extensively as a representative of MTNA and presenter. Immediately after chairing a 3-day meeting of the Board of Directors in July, Dr.
Rebecca Grooms Johnson, PhD, NCTM, is currently serving as President of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) – a professional organization of approximately 22,000 private and university
MaryJaneDean

Dean Judges Piano Guild in Michigan

MaryJaneDean

Published: September 19, 2016

Mary Jane Dean, Adjunct Faculty at Ohio Christian University for over 25 years, was asked to judge students for the international piano guild in Detroit in May of 2016.  She judged over 125 students at the Evola Music Center. Piano Guild, based in Austin, Texas, judges over 125,000 students every spring from all over the United States and several foreign countries.  The students prepare from one to fifteen pieces and skills to play for the judge.  95% of those pieces are memorized. In Detroit, Dean enjoyed meeting some of the international teachers from Russia and Costa Rica.  Dean
Mary Jane Dean, Adjunct Faculty at Ohio Christian University for over 25 years, was asked to judge students for the international piano guild in Detroit in May of 2016.  She judged over 125 students at the Evola Music Center. Piano Guild, based in Austin, Texas, judges over 125,000 students every spring from all over the United States and several foreign countries.  The students prepare
Mary Jane Dean, Adjunct Faculty at Ohio Christian University for over 25 years, was asked to judge students for the international piano guild in Detroit in May of 2016.  She judged over 125