The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir, College Singers, Brass Ensemble, and Handbell Ensemble will present "Arise, Shine for Your Light has Come! A Lenoir-Rhyne Christmas 2018." On Sunday, Dec. 2, there will be two performances – 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4, performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. All performances occur in Grace Chapel.
Following Tuesday's performance, a tree lighting will take place outside the chapel entrance area. The brass ensemble and choirs will lead the crowd in familiar Christmas carols and the LR alma mater. The Rev. Andrew Weisner, university pastor, will preside.
The concert program will include musical selections that highlight the Isaiah 60:1-based theme. Artistic director and LR director of choral activities Ryan Luhrs explained, "Each year we try to focus on a different aspect of the Christmas story so that attendees can hear the familiar narrative in a new way. The theme of light invading the darkness is found throughout the texts associated with the Advent-Christmas season."
Music selections will explore the theme, including David Danner's "Arise, Your Light Has Come" and Paul D. Weber's "Arise, Shine." Weber is an LR professor emeritus of music. He led the university's sacred music program and choral ensembles from 1996 to 2016. Other music will include the Appalachian carol "I Wonder as I Wonder," David Marlott's "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," Eric Whitacre's "Lux Aurumque," Andre Thomas's arrangement of the spiritual "Rise Up, Shepherd," Jeffrey Ames's "Gloria Fanfare," and seasonal congregational hymns.
LR ensembles will perform together and separately in the intimate setting of the chapel. A free-will offering to help offset the cost of the A Capella Choir/Brass Ensemble's May 2019 Ireland performance tour will be received during the program.
Luhrs will direct the choral ensembles. Collaborative artist Jeana Neal Borman and Vince Crist, University organist, will accompany the choirs and hymn singing. Christopher Nigrelli, LR professor of music, will lead the brass ensemble, and Spence Robertson, LR adjunct instructor of music, will direct the handbell ensemble.
Seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are free of charge for all concert dates and may be picked up at the LR Box Office located in P.E. Monroe Auditorium beginning Monday, Nov. 5. The LR Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Dec. 4. The box office will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 23. Ticketholders are limited to a maximum of four tickets. A stand-by line will be available for those who were unable to reserve a ticket. Though no guarantees can be made, historically all in the stand-by line have been seated. Those with unused tickets are strongly encouraged to return them to the box office. Returned tickets will be made available to the public one hour before each performance. Call 828.328.7206 for ticket information.