The joys of Christmas radiated through Reardon Auditorium last weekend. Candles and Carols — an Anderson University tradition for the community — featured sacred holiday music, scripture readings and a candle-lighting ceremony. “We let the program speak for itself and find it’s as meaningful and timely today as 40 years ago,” said Dr. Jeffrey E. Wright, dean of the Anderson University College of the Arts. “It has sustained itself and continues to be a beautiful event, even though the story never changes.” [PHOTO: Dr. Richard Sowers conducts during Candles and Carols]
More than 250 AU students from the department of music participated during the service, which included the Chamber Orchestra, Chorale and Men’s Choir, directed by Dr. Richard Sowers; the Women’s Chorus, directed by Joani Brandon; the Guitar Ensemble, directed by Dr. Mark Stanek; and the Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. Susan Taylor. The performances incorporated some dance and a guitar ensemble. The audience participated in the program through congregational singing and candle lighting at the conclusion of the evening.
“Audience participation continues to be the highlight of the evening,” Wright said. “When the audience sings along with choirs and instrumentalists, it’s wonderful. How often to you get the opportunity to sing with 2,000 people?”
If you missed it or just want to relive how Anderson University helps usher in the Christmas season, Candles and Carols will be television by 120 stations across the United States. The program will air throughout December on stations affiliated with Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS), independent regional networks and national affiliates.
“If you consider there’s about 1,500 TV stations in the United States and we’re (broadcast) in the top 10 markets, Candles and Carols is pretty widely seen,” said Don Boggs, general manager of Covenant Productions®. “It also is shown internationally on satellite networks. I have friends in Haiti who watch it. Candles and Carols has a broad appeal. People are looking for quality entertainment at Christmastime that has a spiritual nature. This is it.”
Log onto www.anderson.edu for a complete listing for replays of Candles and Carols.
Covenant Productions® will also produce a DVD and CD of the program. DVDs are $15 each and CDs are $12 each and can be ordered by calling the department of music at 641-4450.
—STACEY M. LANE GROSH is a reporter for the Anderson Herald-Bulletin