Vassar College presents the annual program “Service of Lessons and Carols,” December 4, 2016

The college’s annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” a Christmas service of readings, choral anthems, and congregational carols that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony, will be held in the Vassar Chapel on Sunday, December 4.

This popular event is free and open to the public. The doors will open at 6:30pm, with seating on a first-come first-served basis. The event begins at 7:00pm. A free will offering will also be taken to support the college's annual philanthropic campaign, Community Works, which provides funding to several Hudson Valley non-profit organizations (see

Rev. Samuel Speers, director of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Assistant Dean for Campus Life, said, “We encourage people to arrive early to this very popular event, which usually fills our almost 1000-seat chapel to capacity.”

The program, co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and the Department of Music, will feature Advent and Christmas scriptural readings and an ensemble of 180 singers, including members of the Vassar College Choir, Vassar College Women’s Chorus, the Madrigal Singers, and the Cappella Festiva Treble and Chamber Choirs. This event will feature the music of Ravenscroft, Rachmaninoff, Poulenc, Britten, Manz, Luboff, Gjeilo, and a newly commissioned work by James Fitzwilliam, “O Lord, Holy Child.”  

The Lessons and Carols Choir is under the direction of Christine R. Howlett and Drew Minter, members of the Vassar College Department of Music.  Guests include Ronald Bemrich and Matt Zydel, conductors, James Fitzwilliam, organ, and Elysia Roman, harp.  College organist and music faculty member Gail Archer will play the Gress-Miles organ. Archer is also the director of the music program at Barnard College and conductor of the Barnard-Columbia Chorus.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available.

Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY, and directions to the campus can be found at

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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