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Christmas Concert Inspires Yuletide Spirit

- Listen to the Christmas concert.

Students, faculty, and the community gathered for a night of carols.

Christmas was in the air as Berea College's various bands and choirs combined on Sunday night, December 2, for their annual holiday concert.

Each ensemble had its chance to perform, but it was the cumulative effort of the band and choir that led the whole night into joyous music. After a slow build up by the band, the main Berea student choir marched in from the back doors of Union Church. Streaming in from all sides, many of the audience members looked around quickly as they heard the triumphant opening notes of the processional that started the night off. The singers then proceeded to file into their spaces in the upper stage while continuing to sing. It was an impressive opener and it proved only to get better.

Following this, it was the audience who led the whole group in song with “O Come, All Ye Faithful”. It was the first of many Christmas hymns to be sung throughout the night while the next musical group prepared for their set. The Concert Choir put many into a joyful trance with their rendition of the “Wexford Carol” and also provided some fun as well with an incredible version of “The Little Drummer Boy.” Other choir groups performed as well, including the Women’s Chorus doing a highly entertaining 50's number, “Slow Dancing in the Snow,” and the Berea Chamber Singers, who presented a very impressive version of the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” with each day being represented by a different singer.

There were also some surprises in store as well. The Wind Ensemble displayed particularly inventive percussion with “Sleigh Ride,” which was brought to life with a series of bells and clip-clops, with the players clad in bright, red scarves for the occasion. Likewise, the Jazz Ensemble played yuletide favorites, including the Charlie Brown classic “Linus and Lucy” and the classic “Christmas Song.” The latter featured lead singer and soprano Jessica French. As soon as she started the first line, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” the audience was captivated. She earned herself one of the night’s many standing ovations. The Black Music Ensemble performed an energetic set that opened with “Sing de Chorus,” opened by Senior member Valton Jackson. Also, the Berea community choir came to perform on this music-filled night.

However, it was the last couple of performances that moved audience members the most. The Bluegrass Ensemble stopped the show completely with a heartbreakingly beautiful version of “Mary, Did You Know?” Also, the closing song, a Christmas classic, “Noel,” was performed in the native Kituba dialect and featured all of the gathered student choirs. It was a joyous and monumentally climactic moment, and represented exactly what the night was all about.

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