Natchitoches’ Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception continued a beloved community tradition of over 30 years in hosting their annual Lessons and Carols Tuesday Dec 4th. Northwestern State University’s Chamber Choir gave a performance of sacred music in between Bible readings that was simply magnificent. Fr. Blake Deshautelle led the service while Dr. Nicholaus Cummins conducted the Choir and Dr. Greg Handel served as organist.
The night’s service “The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” was first presented at the Chapel of King’s College shortly after the end of the First World War in 1918. The service has been broadcast each year since 1928 by the British Broadcasting Corporation. During the Second World War, there was no heat in the church and the stained glass windows had been removed to protect them from Nazi bombs. The service continued nonetheless, an example of “the long continuity of our institutions” that Sir Winston Churchill spoke of in 1940.
The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir is a hard working and superbly talented group of young people. They are one of just ten choirs from around the world to be invited to the Ave Vernum International Choral Competition in Baden, Austria May 31 to June 2 2019. Let us pull together as a community to help get them there. The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the night’s photography. If you download a photo you like, please consider a donation to the NSU Chamber Choir. Donations can also be made to them at http://bit.ly/nsuchoirs.