The 2017 Festival of Lessons and Carols, Tabor Academy’s annual celebration of the return to light following the solstice, will take place on Sunday, December 10 at 7:30 pm in Wickenden Chapel (81 Spring Street, Marion).
Inaugurated in 1980 by recently retired faculty member, Bruce Cobbold, the festival occupies a special place in the life of the Academy. Featuring Tabor’s six choral ensembles, this “Christmas card in music” to the community annually draws hundreds to the chapel to ring in the season with carols, music by the masters, and readings drawn from Scripture that tell the story of the rebirth of hope from darkness. Thousands more have followed the live streaming of the event via Tabor’s Facebook page.
This year’s repertoire includes airs, recitatives and choruses from Camille Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio as well as long established old favorites. Rounding out the offerings are original compositions and new arrangements of traditional standbys making their debut on this year’s festival.
The Festival begins in darkness with the lighting of the candles, accompanied by Saint-Saëns’ haunting “Prelude in the Style of J. S. Bach” followed by the choral introit, “In The Beginning.” From there, the choristers process to “Once in Royal David’s City” and once in, invite the congregation to join in joyous celebration of the season. As always, the assembly is encouraged to raise their voices with the ensembles to form a mighty choir, culminating in the robustly magnificent “Hallelujah!” chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
The Festival of Lessons and Carols is free and open to the public and all are welcome to attend. Please join us for this gala observance in Wickenden Chapel, 81 Spring Street, Marion, or, if you are unable to make it to Marion, online by logging onto Tabor Academy on Facebook.