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‘A Festival of Lessons & Carols’ offers a unique Christmas worship service on the Brewton-Parker campus

Concert choir
The Concert Choir files out of Saliba Chapel, signaling the conclusion of “A Festival of Lessons & Carols”. The choir led the audience in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” by Mendelssohn. (Photo by Ashley Byrd)

By Kelley Arnold

BPC Director of News and Public Information

MOUNT VERNON—More than 400 community guests and Brewton-Parker College students, faculty and staff attended the Division of Music’s annual “A Festival of Lessons & Carols” Dec. 3 in Saliba Chapel on the Mount Vernon campus.

Baron Ringers
Dr. Ben Caston conducts the Baron Ringers as they perform one of the carols in “A Festival of Lessons & Carols” Dec. 3 in Saliba Chapel. Seated in front of the Baron Ringers is the Brewton-Parker Community Wind Ensemble, and behind them is the Concert Choir. (Photo by Ashley Byrd)

The Sunday afternoon event is a traditional worship service outlining the nine lessons of Christmas with carols performed in between, and accompanying, the lessons. Dr. Mark Bowdidge, assistant professor of music, directed the multi-ensemble program.

“Each year that Dr. Bowdidge and the Division of Music present the ‘Festival of Lessons and Carols’, our audience grows larger,” said Dr. David R. Smith, president of Brewton-Parker College. “That is partly because our developing music program continues to improve its performances, but I think it is also due to the fact that our region has come to expect great things out of our musical presentations, and they truly enjoy the sense of worship and talent to which they are exposed.”

Following a Bidding and Lord’s Prayer led by The Reverend Dr. Hal Ostrander, chair of the Religion and Philosophy Division, the lessons began with Genesis 3:8-15, 17-19 where “God announces in the Garden of Eden that the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head” and continues through the lessons in Isaiah, Luke, Matthew and ended with John 1:1-14, where “St. John unfolds the great mystery of the Incarnation.”

The lectors and corresponding carols were as follows: First Lesson lector Matthew Pittman, representing the music major underclassmen, and carol “Adam Lay Ybounden” by Joel Martinson performed by the Concert Choir. Second Lesson lector Brandon Pafford, representing the music major upperclassmen, and carol “An Almighty Fortress – Symphonic Prelude” by David Shaffer performed by the Brewton-Parker Community Wind Ensemble. Third Lesson read by lector Kelley Arnold, representing the staff of the college, and Hymn 78 “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming”. Fourth Lesson, lector Coach Steve Barker, athletic director of the college, and carol “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come” by Paul Manz performed by the Concert Choir.

Dr. David Smith, president of Brewton-Parker College
Dr. David R. Smith, president of Brewton-Parker College, reads the Ninth Lesson during “A Festival of Lessons & Carols” directed by Dr. Mark Bowdidge, associate professor of music. (Photo by Ashley Byrd)

The Fifth Lesson was read by lector Prof. Stephanie Fort, representing the music faculty of the college, and carol “He Is Born” arranged by Arnold B. Sherman performed by the Baron Ringers. Sixth Lesson lector The Reverend Don Moye representing the churches of the community was followed by the carol “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen performed by the Concert Choir.

The Seventh Lesson was read by Dr. Julie Tiu representing the faculty of the college and was followed by the carol “The First Noel” arranged by Kevin McChesney performed by the Baron Ringers. The Eighth Lesson read by Dr. T. Ronald Melton, provost of the college was followed by “Carol of the Bells” arranged by Peter J. Wilhousky performed by the Baron Singers. The final lesson, the Ninth Lesson, was read by President Smith and was followed by “Arise, Shine!” by John Rutter performed by the Concert Choir.

Organist Dr. Pierce Dickens, associate professor of music and Quinelle McRae Sikes Professor of Piano, accompanied several carols and performed the Postlude “In Dulci Jubilo” by J.S. Bach.



Brewton-Parker College News & Information
Brewton-Parker College | Located on U.S. 280 at 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, P. O. Box 197, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
with a site in Newnan
912-583-2241, 1-800-342-1087
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The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
Updated on: April 15, 2010 8:26 PM