Vespers to bring festivity to finals week

Story by Spencer Brown, Assistant News Editor

The 86th Annual Christmas Candlelight Vespers program will take place at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, in Rice Auditorium. The hour-long performances are free to all students, faculty, staff and community members.

“I am most looking forward to participating in what people tell me is one of the biggest concerts of the year,” freshman cellist Andrew Dau said. “My parents always told me about Vespers when I was a kid, so I am really excited to be a part of it.”

Three Baker choirs, the Orchestra and the Percussion Ensemble will perform. In addition, the Celebration Ringers, a handbell choir from the Lawrence First United Methodist Church, will provide a special guest performance. Sara Wentz, a Baker alumna, will direct the group.

“It’s a unique year with the program being the second Sunday of December instead of it traditionally being the first Sunday,” Director of Choral Ensembles Cathy Crispino said. “I think it will be really festive with the bells joining us, though.”

This year’s program will feature the return of a piece written for the Baker choir during Matthew Potterton’s time as the choral director called “Sounds of the Season.” Crispino is looking forward to bringing back the tune for this year’s program.

In her third year participating in the Vespers program, junior Haley Roberts recollected on some of her most memorable moments.

“I love being able to see all the different musical ensembles come together,” she said. “But my favorite memory from this festive concert was watching Dr. Parr conducting ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’ during my freshman year.”

The Department of Music and Theatre hopes campus and community will use this time to get into the holiday spirit before winter break. In between the two performances, an open reception will be featured at the Collins House.

“I know it’s a busy time of the year,” Crispino said. “But we really try to have the program be short and we hope everyone can take a break from studying to come in and get into the holiday spirit.”