Trinity celebrates holidays with concert, Vespers and Oakmont


Vespers by Anh-Viet Dinh

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, Trinity’s music department will host its annual Christmas concert in Laurie Auditorium. The event will feature the choirs, orchestra, handbell choir and wind ensemble.

In preparation, directors from each ensemble chose their repertoire before coming together to develop a cohesive program. While some of the pieces are performed every year, each concert also introduces something new.

“We always close with “˜Joy to the World’ and””in the past””we used a setting that was not written specifically for us; we just sort of arranged it,” said David Heller, head of the music department. “So the department commissioned a new setting of “˜Joy to the World’ and it will be premiered at the concert this year.”

Before and after the concert, the jazz ensemble, brass quintet, Trinitones and Acabellas will perform in the hallways of the auditorium for guests to enjoy. The event is highly attended not only by students and staff, but also by family members and the surrounding community.

“It’s always a really crazy week because the choirs have the Christmas concert and Vespers, so we always try to do at least one or two songs that are the same between both. For the most part, however, they’re completely different programs,” said Gary Seighman, director of choral activities. “There’s a lot of preparation.”

Two days after the concert, on Dec. 7, members of the choirs will again perform in Trinity’s annual Christmas Vespers service at 6 p.m. in Parker Chapel. The event is Trinity’s longest standing tradition.

“Because the music is part of the service, we want to make sure it fits in with the liturgy,” Seighman said. “For example, we have the magi and the Annunciation scene, so we kind of pick music that fits thematically with that service.”

The service is a series of readings that deal with the nativity, alternating with a variety of carols sung by the combined choirs. Before the service, a half-hour prelude will feature music performed by faculty members, as well as a student soloist.

“It’s always an incredibly well-attended event,” Heller said. “Especially with “˜Silent Night’ at the end, I think everybody loves that moment when the choir surrounds the congregation and everyone is in candlelight.”

Following the service, the residents of Oakmont Street will open their homes for another traditional event, Christmas on Oakmont. Each home will feature snacks, drinks and caroling by the chamber singers, as well as warm greetings from the hosts.

“It’s a really nice event because it gives students, staff and members of the community the opportunity to see our house and admire the decorations and eat the snacks,” said Michael Fischer, vice president for faculty and student affairs. “It’s a great way to start the holiday season.”