CHAUTAUQUA - It has become a tradition that the Chautauqua season closes with the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty during the last free Sunday of the season. Their performance will be held on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in Chautauqua's Amphitheater. From Sousa to Ellington to John Williams, they bring the spirit and hope of America to the Amp.
Opening the day's events is the 10:45 a.m. non-denominational church service held in the Amphitheater. This service will be led by Rev. Dr. Jon M. Walton. Walton is the senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New York City. Midday is the 5 p.m. Vespers service that is held in the Hall of Philosophy. Rev. Walton will be leading this service as he discusses his personal journey in faith.
Ending the day is the 8 p.m. traditional Sacred Song Service held in the Amphitheater entitled: "Final Chautauqua Thoughts." For eight generations Chautauquans have been gathering in the Amphitheater on Sunday evenings to join the Chautauqua Choir for the Sacred Song Services. Cast in a vesper format at the close of the day and bookended by the beloved hymns "Day Is Dying in the West" and "Now the Day Is Over", these services combine the musical gifts of one of the world's largest singing congregations with the 125-voice Chautauqua Choir, all led by the 5,640 pipes of the Massey Memorial Organ. Many styles of music from the past 500 years are presented, and a special feature is the inclusion of scriptural and devotional readings and prayers carefully selected to reflect each week's theme. Finally, Chautauqua President, Thomas Becker, will tap the gavel three times and bring an official close to the 2008 season.
All of the day's events described above are free, including admissions onto the grounds. To find the full schedule or more information about any of these services please visit www.ciweb.org.