BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich.—“Welcome Christmas,” an annual concert at Andrews University, will take place Friday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m. in the Howard Performing Arts Center.
This year’s program, directed by Stephen Zork, professor of music and conductor of the University Singers and University Chorale, is titled “When You Come.” It will present a garland of Christmas carols proclaiming and reliving the advent and gospel of Jesus Christ as portrayed through scripture and oral traditions throughout the ages. The collaborative concert will feature Andrews University Department of Music ensembles: Singers, Chorale, Symphony Orchestra and tenor Charles Reid, associate professor of voice and artist-in-residence at Andrews University. The Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Chris Wild.
Numerous seasonal favorites will be featured, such as “Christmas Dinner” and “When You Come, We Will Shout Hallelujah!” arranged by Stephen Zork for choir and orchestra. Fresh settings of traditional carols will include Dan Forrest’s “O Come, Let Us Adore Him,” John Rutter’s “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol,” Courtney’s evocative arrangement “Mary Did You Know?” and Peter Anglea’s lyrical setting of “Silent Night.” The centerpiece of the program is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” for which he took familiar modal English Christmas tunes and enriched them with his romantic, harmonic language and a variety of instrumental combinations. In it, Williams’ selected Christmas carols include “The Truth Sent from Above,” “Come All You Worthy Gentlemen,” “On Christmas Night,” “There Is a Fountain,” and “God Bless the Ruler of this House.” For “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” the Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the University Singers and vocal soloist Charles Reid.
“Welcome Christmas” is a “full-house” event; doors will open promptly at 6:30 p.m. A free-will offering will be received, and no admission will be charged.
The Howard Performing Arts Center is a premier 850-seat concert hall on the campus of Andrews University. Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist church and offers more than 200 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 19 countries around the world.