Jultide at Bethany, the holiday celebration of Christ’s birth featuring the many music ensembles of Bethany College and the Smoky Valley region, will be performed Sunday, December 4 at 4 p.m. in Presser Hall Auditorium on the campus of Bethany College.
This year’s performance, “A Festival of Lessons and Carols,” will feature the Salina High School Central “Free Spirit” chamber choir, directed by Ryan Holmquist, a 2005 graduate of Bethany College. The accompanist for the ensemble is Sonja Burmaster, a 1994 graduate of Bethany.
With traditional Christmas music, scriptures selected by Bethany College’s Campus Pastor Tyler Atkinson and poetry chosen by English Professor Kristin Van Tassel will tell the story of Christ’s birth.
“The thematic journey takes the listener from despair and the need for Christ to a hope for resolution and the joy of Christ’s light being brought into the world. After each reading there will be special music that mirrors the readings,” explained Mark Lucas, professor of music at Bethany College and one of the concert’s directors.
Other ensembles that will perform at the concert include the Bethany Choir, Bethany Handbell Ensemble, Bethany Chamber Choir, and the Bethany College/Lindsborg Community Orchestra. The concert will feature well-known Christmas music that the audience will have the opportunity to sing along with and other special works. An arrangement of the hymn “My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord” for orchestra, handbells, and congregation singing by Bethany Music Professor Daniel Masterson will be featured.
For many decades, this event, formerly known as “An Hour of Christmas” signaled the beginning of the Christmas season in the Smoky Valley. Admission is free, although free will offerings to support the music department will be accepted.