Over 950 Christmas celebrants attended Ohio Christian University’s 2017 Festival of Carols performed for the first time on December 2nd and 3rd in the University’s new Ministry and Performing Arts Center! In the future, the Center will be used for the community as well as OCU events.
Produced as a gift to the community, the University Chorale, Chamber Singers, Circleville Community Choral Society, and Festival Orchestra beautifully realized this year’s What Can I Give? theme. Instead of focusing on what we receive in this Christmas season, Dr. Bennett focused on paying forward with the blessings of Christ. A participant explained, “Every year, the festival brings a new message, and this year’s was especially moving. It doesn’t matter what you have to give, it matters that you simply give Jesus your heart.”
A creative rendering of A Christmas Carol, the multi-media drama explored what it means to transcend being Scrooge, selfish, stingy with time, energy, possessions, and love, to become like Christ—the greatest example of giving and unselfish love. With singing, instrumentals, dramatic performance, and a narration throughout, the festival elevated the message of giving what you can.
OCU Chamber Winds’ prelude featured favorites "Sleigh Ride" and "All Is Calm". The Festival programme opened with "Fanfare–Realms of Glory" and a welcome and prayer by Dr. Jon Kulaga, OCU President. The University was excited to welcome in the Advent season with such a celebration.
Highlights were inspired renderings of "E’en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come", "Let Us Be", "In the Bleak Midwinter", and "I’ll Give Him My Heart" followed by the beloved "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Little Drummer Boy", "Bugler’s Holiday", "Glorious Sounds of Christmas", "12 Days After Christmas", "Silent Night, O Holy Night", "Joy to the World", and "What Can I Give Him", concluding with a unique arrangement of the "Hallelujah Chorus" from Handel’s Messiah.
Dr. Dione Bennett directed the University Chorale with Cherié Knapp, on piano, and Dr. David Bennett, as guest conductor. Dr. Jon Kulaga closed this memorable event with a heart-felt benediction.
Featured participants were Cody McClurg, Timothy Carpenter, Gary Dean, Mary Jane Dean, Ian Monaghan, Savanna Harlow, George Edge, Walker Flowers, Dr. Valerie Jones, Bruce Morrison, Dr. John Anthony, Pat Beathard, Donald Glenn, Marty Hayes, Dr. Rebecca Johnson, Dr. Adrienne Lape, Jonathon Satterfield, Dr. Rodney Sones, Linda and Roger Stieg, and Teresa Woerner.
Merry Christmas and blessings in the New Year to all!
Festival of Carols 2017 Recap Video
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