• Candlelight Carol
  • History of the Candlelight Carol Service 

    In 1963, under the direction of Robert McGill, the Hendrix College Choir began presenting a service of lessons and carols, modeled after the annual Christmas Eve service at King's College in Cambridge, England. The Candlelight Carol Service has since become an important Hendrix tradition. Each year over 1,200 people attend one of the four on-campus performances during the last week of classes. Immediately following final exams, the Choir tours the region, performing the service at United Methodist churches in Arkansas and neighboring states. Repertoire featured in the Candlelight Carol Services changes yearly, and includes works from the 15th century to the present day. 

    Enthusiasts of organ music greatly enjoy the service, which features Hendrix College organist Timothy Allen performing works on our splendid two-manual organ, constructed in 1997 by Little Rock organ builders Nichols & Simpson, Inc. (you can read more about the instrument  here).

    Hendrix College Candlelight Carol Competition

    We are pleased to announce that composer Janet Wheeler, of Saffron Walden, England, has been selected as winner of this year's Candlelight Carol Competition. Her work, Behold, I Come, was selected from over 65 submissions, and will be premiered at this year's services. Now in its third year, the competition welcomes composers of any age or nationality to submit works for consideration. This year, submissions were required to be a cappella and compatible for programming following the reading of the second lesson in the service (Genesis 22: 1-3, 9-13, 15-18). A group of finalists were reviewed by a committee including guest judges Dr. Deanna Joseph (Georgia State University) and Dr. Ryan Board (Pepperdine University), Hendrix College music major Danielle Rosson '18, and Hendrix music faculty Dr. Karen Griebling, and Dr. Andrew Morgan. Ms. Wheeler will receive $1,000 plus up to $300 in travel reimbursement to attend a performance. Information regarding next year's competition will be posted in February. 

    Past winners include Gentle Mary Laid Her Child by Alan MacMillan (Connecticut) and A Christmas Lullaby by Edmund Jolliffe. Competition judges in previous years have included Dr. Stephen Caldwell (University of Arkansas), Dr. Dominick DiOrio (Indiana University), and Dr. Matthew Mehaffey (University of Minnesota).