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A Preview to Catawba’s Beloved Service of Lessons and Carols

Kiersten Nichols, Editor-In-Chief

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Catawba’s Lessons and Carols is a service where students and community members alike come together to warm their soul during times when the air outside is continuing to get colder.  Lessons and Carols is one of the most anticipated annual musical services that Catawba’s students and faculty work on every year. Dr. Phillip Burgess is the faculty member in charge of the service.  Burgess says that he wishes to “challenge the choir” to go to sporting and other campus events in order to “fill the pews” at the service of Lessons and Carols with students from all disciplines on campus.  Burgess also explained that there are 700 seats in the Chapel for each performance and that he wants it to be “full of students, faculty, and staff.”

 

This year, there will be three performances of the service, two of which are open to the public and one for Catawba’s Board of Trustees.  The dates open to the public are November 27th and 30th with the Prelude beginning at 6:30pm and the Service of Lessons and Carols beginning at 7:00pm in the Chapel.  This years performance will also be livestreamed on YouTube for those who are unable to attend in person.

 

The choir for this year’s Lessons and Carols service is unique because there are over ninety members who will be performing.  In addition, there will also be new vestments, tuxedos for the men and black dresses for the women.  Another unique aspect for this years service is the array of musical instruments that will be used during the service.  This year, the service will include bluegrass violin, played by Angel Paez, piano, played by Savannah Nunn, and other musicians on percussion, stand up bass, and electric guitar.  In addition, there are three student conductors, Greg Florio, Katie Zobel, and Duane Leatherberry, whereas there is usually only one student conductor.  

Dr. Burgess says that he started to attend Catawba’s Lessons and Carols in 2005, and has directed the service since he was appointed Director of Choral Activities in 2013.  During Burgess’ first year directing the service, he choose to use the men’s piece Who is He which then quickly became a tradition for the service as the men in the choir continually request the piece year after year.

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A Preview to Catawba’s Beloved Service of Lessons and Carols