Candlelight Carol

Candlelight Live

A Festival of Lessons and Carols 

The Hendrix College Choir
Andrew Morgan, Director
Timothy Allen, College Organist


Since its inception in 1963, the Candlelight Carol Service has come to hold a special place in the hearts of many throughout the Hendrix community. The service shares many features with the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols celebrated each Christmas Eve since 1918 at King’s College in Cambridge, England. The nine lessons, taken from Old and New Testaments, weave a narrative from Adam’s fall into sin, through the prophecies of Christ’s coming, and culminating in Christ’s birth. The carols performed between the lessons change yearly, and offer opportunities for reflection, exultation, and celebration.

This year we are thrilled to present the world premieres of two compositions. The winner of this year's Candlelight Carol Competition is On Christmas Night All Christians Sing, composed by Charles West of Plymtree, England. His piece is a creative reworking of the well-known Sussex Carol. The carol was chosen from more than 75 submissions; a committee including choir members Noah Adams '19 and Blythe Bull '19, Dr. Miguel Felipe (University of Arizona), and Dr. Ann Howard Jones (Professor Emerita, Boston University) made the selection. Dr. West's career has taken some surprising turns: Having studied classical and jazz piano at a young age, he went on to have a successful career in the medical profession. Since retiring, he has renewed his passion for music, working as a composer and conducting two choirs in England. His music has been performed by choirs in the U.S., Czech Republic, Hong Kong, and England. We also are grateful to our organist, Timothy Allen, who offers a composition for us to perform this year, Love Came Down, which we will sing after the ninth lesson. His work incorporates poetry by A.E. Housman and Christina Rossetti in a musical setting that borrows from the Love Came Down at Christmas hymn tune while taking inspiration from the music of French composer Francis Poulenc (1899-1963). We look forward to continuing our tradition of offering new carols for the Christmas season, which is made possible by your generous contributions to support the ongoing work of the Hendrix College Choir. Your offerings are greatly appreciated.

The Jonathan and Donna Wolfe Hendrix Choir Endowment Fund was established in 2005 with a generous gift from the Wolfes, members of the Class of 1966. They encourage supporters of the choir to join them in making gifts to support the Hendrix Choir in perpetuity. Contributions may be sent to the Office of Institutional Advancement at any time.

We hope the Candlelight Carol Service brings joy, peace, love, and good tidings to you and your family. In recent years this hope has never been more earnest, as we live in a world that sadly endures far too many instances of violence, hatred, war, and conflict. We hope you will keep all those who suffer in your thoughts and prayers. With that in mind, a portion of your donations will go to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which supports people in places of crisis worldwide.

Special thanks to Revs. J.J. Whitney & Wayne Clark, Dr. Robert Williamson, Dr. Jane Harris, Dr. Lyle Rupert, Dr. Dionne Jackson, Dr. Gabriel Ferrer, and Dr. William Tsutsui. Thanks also to Travis Peeples, Meagan Stephenson, Summer Green, Amy Forbus, Vicky Piccola, Pamela Owen, Courtney Corwin, Gina Goad, the student ushers and technicians, Dr. John Krebs, Dr. Gretchen Renshaw James, Andrew Vaught, the Office of Institutional Advancement, the Office of Alumni & Constituent Engagement, the staffs of the Media Center, Technology Services, Facilities Management, Public Safety, Dining Services, and everyone else who helped make this year's Candlelight Carol Services a success. 

Merry Christmas.