By: Spencer Hess ‘20
As the sun set Friday afternoon, the head of campus went aglow with lights and music. Families and students alike milled about the chapel green, a bonfire crackled out in front of Lewis and a hayride puttered around the walkways of campus.
The outdoor festivities commenced around 6:30pm with the lighting of the Christmas tree by President Lindsay and his family, after which the coat-clad crowd started filing into the brightly-lit chapel.
To open the event, the audience was presented with an anecdote from the 2nd Annual Gala in 1992. The lights lowered and the orchestra began to play “Away in a Manger”. After a few brief introductions, the choirs made their way into the sanctuary. The college choir’s “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” gave way to the wind ensembles Christmas Celebration, which in turn faded into the women’s choir’s soulful rendition of “Away in a Manger”. The performances were interspersed with readings from Isaiah and Luke. And even though applause was reserved for only few occasions, it was always thunderous and well-deserved.
A region-wide power outage brought the event to a screeching halt. It did not take long, though, for the audience and performers to realize that they did not need power for the show to go on and in the end, everyone present that evening formed a special bond in their unique celebration.
Throughout the night, the audience was called to participate in singing several selections, including the grand finale in which all joined together for seven verses of “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”
The music department concluded their performance with the crash of the cymbal and the clang of the bell.