The SUNY Fredonia Women's Choir will be performing the 25th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Fredonia's First United Methodist Church at 8 p.m. Saturday. This beloved holiday tradition will combine readings and musical portrayals of the story of Christmas. There is no fee for the event, but the Student Opera Theater Association is sponsoring a non-perishable food drive as a freewill offering. Monetary donations to the host church are always welcome as well.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols began in 1918 at the Church of England, marking the beginning of Christmas through nine Biblical readings. The SUNY Fredonia performance models the service presented annually at King's College Cambridge, England, but with its own unique Fredonia traditions. In celebration of the 25th anniversary, the Women's Choir will feature a number of local artists, including James Bigham, organist/choirmaster at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Buffalo, mezzo-soprano Lynne McMurtry, and flutist Susan Royal. The choir will also present newer works by composers Persis Vehar and Keith Peterson, SUNY Fredonia faculty emeritus, with the composers in attendance. This year's festival also features works by Daniel Pinkham, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gabriel Faure, Carlisle Floyd, and Caludio Monteverdi, among others.
The community is welcome to join in for an evening of thoughtful readings and reflective musical responses as the choir celebrates the 25th anniversary of this annual campus-community tradition. The First United Methodist Church is located at 25 Church St.
The Fredonia First United Methodist Church will be the setting for the 25th annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols.