The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir will present a candlelight service of “Lessons and Carols” Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 145 Church St. in Natchitoches. Admission is free and open to the public. Dr. Nicholaus B. Cummins will conduct the chamber choir and several faculty from the School of Creative and Performing Arts will be lectors during the service. Professor Michael Rorex, Associate Professor of Voice, will be the organist, and featured soloists will be Sean Grady of Leesville, Hannah Noëlle Johnson of Haughton, and Destinee Roberson of Natchitoches. This is the 26th consecutive year the NSU Chamber Choir has presented this service.
The “Lessons and Carols” is a service based upon a century-old tradition established at Kings College, Cambridge, in England, where it is performed every Christmas Eve to standing room only crowds and broadcast worldwide on the BBC. “Lessons and Carols” consists of nine lessons, readings for both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, all related to the Advent and birth of Christ. Following each lesson, the choir singing a text that relates to each of the readings. During the carols, altar servers light a variety of candles, which remain lit throughout the service. Gradually, the church is transformed from darkness into light as the Service concludes in a festive recessional.
The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir is the premiere choral ensemble at Northwestern State University. Many of the singers are music majors, but some are majors in other fields at the university. The Chamber Choir has established an outstanding reputation for choral performance in the region. They have been invited to sing for several professional conferences sponsored by the Louisiana Music Educators and the Louisiana Choral Directors Association. For more information on the Northwestern State choral program, go to nsuchoirs.org or facebook.com/nsuchoirs.