Christmas celebrated at upcoming Coe College events

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(319) 399-8605 or

2014-11-19 14:34:41 - General

Christmas will be celebrated at Coe College's annual Christmas Convocation and Christmas Vespers on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Both events will feature the Coe College Chorale and Handbell Ensemble. The Christmas Convocation will begin at 11 a.m., with a repeat program held as Christmas Vespers at 7:30 p.m., both in Sinclair Auditorium. The celebrations are free and open to the public, with a Wassail reception following each service.

The Coe Chorale, directed by Loralee Songer, will perform traditional anthems during the services, along with the Coe Handbell Ensemble, conducted by Brett Wolgast.  Many Coe students will be featured with vocal and instrumental solos. The services follow the grand British Lessons and Carols tradition and are patterned after that of King's College Chapel, Cambridge, England. In the services, hymns and carols are used in place of psalms and canticles. Through the message of the scriptures and verses of the carols and anthems, participants are given a beautiful perspective on the meaning of the Christmas season.

Both the Christmas Convocation and the Christmas Vespers will include the story of Jesus' birth presented in lessons read throughout the presentation by Coe College Chaplain Kristin Hutson, as well as students, faculty and staff members. Audience members will be invited to join in singing several of the Christmas hymns and carols, including the traditional favorites "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," "Angels We Have Heard On High," "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Silent Night."

Music to be performed by the Coe Chorale includes "African Noel" by Victor Johnson, "What Sweeter Music" arranged by John Leavitt, and "Gaudete!" arranged by Michael Engelhardt. The Coe Handbell Ensemble will be playing with the Chorale for "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" arranged by J. Edmund Hughes, and "Once in Royal David's City" by Howard Helvey. In addition, the Handbell Ensemble will be performing the prelude and postlude music for the program.

The Coe College Music Department, Office of the Chaplain and Office of the President are co-sponsoring the services. For more information, please call 399-8581.