NATCHITOCHES – The Northwestern State University Chamber Choir will present a candlelight service of “Lessons and Carols” Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at 145 Church St. in Natchitoches. Admission is free and open to the public. Dr. Burt Allen will direct the Northwestern choir. Dr. Greg Handel is the organist and Kallie Stephenson is the soprano soloist. Jordan DeRouen will also perform on organ.

This is the 22nd consecutive year in which the NSU choir has presented this
service. According to Allen, the “Lessons and Carols Service” is based upon
the century-old tradition established at Kings College, Cambridge, England,
where it is performed every Christmas Eve to standing room only crowds and
broadcast worldwide.

“Lessons and Carols” consists of nine lessons, readings for both the Old and
New Testament of the Bible, allrelated to the Advent and birth of Christ.
Each Lesson is followed by the choir singing one or more carols whose text
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 theService concludes in a
festive recessional.

The Chamber Choir, founded in 1987 by Allen, is a highly
auditioned choral ensemble that specializes in performing music suitable for
smaller choirs.  Membership is made up of students at Northwestern State,
many of whom are music or music education majors, but several have majors in
other fields including business, social work, socialsciences, and theatre.
The Chamber Choir has established an outstanding reputation for choral
performance in the gulf coast region.  They have been invited to sing for
several professional conferences sponsored by the Louisiana Music Educators
and theLouisiana Choral Directors Association. Most of the Chamber Choir was
in the NSU International Chorale that toured England in the spring of 2010.

In 1997, they appeared in solo performance in Carnegie Hall in
New York City.   The Chamber Choir has also joined forces with the
University Concert Choir to form the NSU Symphony Chorus and perform major
works for chorus and orchestra including the Brahms “Ein Deutsches Requiem,”
Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony,” Poulenc’s “Gloria,” the Bach “Magnificat,” the
Mozart “Requiem,” Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony
of Psalms,” Franz Josef Haydn’s “Mass in Time of War,” Leonard Bernstein’s
“Chichester Psalms” and many others.

For more information on Northwestern State’s choral program, go

For more information on Northwestern State’s choral program, go

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