CONWAY, Ark. (November 15,
2019) – For more than half a century, the Hendrix College Choir’s Candlelight
Carol Service has held a special place in the hearts of many throughout Arkansas
and the broader Hendrix community. The 2019 Candlelight Carol Services will continue
this beloved tradition while also introducing new music to those who attend.
Services in Greene Chapel on the Hendrix College campus will take place Dec. 5-7
at 7:30 p.m., and Dec. 8 at 4 p.m.; reservations for the on-campus services may
be made online at www.hendrix.edu/candlelight beginning at 9 a.m. Nov. 22. All
performances are free and open to the public, though limited seating makes
reservations required for the on-campus services.
This year, the choir will
make tour stops Dec. 19 at First United Methodist Church of Batesville and Dec.
20 at First United Methodist Church of North Little Rock. Both tour services
begin at 7:30 p.m. and do not require reservations.
In-person attendance is not
the only option for those wishing to experience the Hendrix College Choir
Candlelight Carol Service. The service will be streamed live from Greene Chapel
at www.hendrix.edu/candlelight on Friday, Dec. 6 and Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Candlelight Carol Service
at Hendrix 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. Selections
for this year’s service include works by Abbie Betinis (b. 1980), Ola Gjeilo
(b. 1978), Daniel Pinkham (1923-2006), and Elizabeth Poston (1905-1987), among
One of this year’s musical
selections is the piece chosen as the winner of the 2019 Candlelight Carol
Competition, A Cradle Song, composed
by John Madden of Newchurch, Wales. Madden’s piece, a thoughtful and beautiful
work for choir and organ based on poetry by William Blake, was chosen from more
than 65 submissions. A committee including Dr. Gene Peterson (California
Baptist University), Dr. Elizabeth Swanson (University of Colorado-Boulder), and
choir member Michael Crippen Jr. ’20 chose the winner.
Now in its fifth year, the
competition welcomes composers of any age or nationality to submit works for
consideration, and offers a $1,000 award. Past winners of the competition,
which began in 2015, include A Christmas
Lullaby by Edmund Jolliffe, Behold, I
Come by Janet Wheeler, and On
Christmas Night All Christians Sing by Charles West. Information regarding
next year’s competition will be posted in February.
“We enjoy the ability to
offer new carols for the Christmas season, while honoring this long-running
tradition that connects generations of alumni to Hendrix,” said Dr. Andrew
Morgan, conductor of the Hendrix College Choir.
A private liberal arts
college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as
one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That
Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been
affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.
Photo by Nelson Chenault, Dec. 2, 2018