The Kentucky Wesleyan Singers will present the College’s annual Festival of Lessons & Carols on Dec. 5 and 6 at 7 p.m. at St. Stephen Cathedral at 610 Locust St. in Owensboro. Associate Professor of Music Dennis Jewett will direct the Wesleyan Singers. James Wells ’14, director of music at St. Stephen Cathedral, will provide accompaniment and the Evansville Brass Quintet, will participate as well. Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Patrick Stuckemeyer plays tuba in the quintet. Molly Gross and Dr. Shane Armstrong, both assistant professors of English from the College’s Student Success Center, will narrate the program.
“The Wesleyan Festival of Lessons & Carols has become a treasured Owensboro tradition, and we are excited that this year’s program will include the premiere performance of “When Christmas Morn is Dawning,” a carol commissioned by the Kentucky Wesleyan Singers,” said Professor Jewett. “It was written by young Minneapolis composer Kyle Pederson, who has a published a large number of choral pieces and is quickly becoming well known in church and choral circles. He was introduced to us by Mark Slaughter, formerly on staff at First Baptist Church in Owensboro.” The two work together at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minn.
This year’s event also includes three traditional carols, “Angels We Have Heard On High,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and carols written for the traditional Nine Lessons & Carols service in Cambridge, England.
The Festival of Lessons & Carols, a tradition begun in England on Christmas Eve in 1880, weaves scripture readings and carols of the season in stirring homage to the birth of Christ. A much-beloved version of the festival began at King’s College, Cambridge, in 1918, and is broadcast worldwide every Christmas Eve. Some sources report that it is the single music program heard by more people worldwide than any other annual event.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and students with I.D. and are available at kwc.edu or by calling Peggie Greer at 270-852-3117.