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Vespers Concert Brings Holiday Tidings

Vespers promo

Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music will present its 42nd annual Christmas Vespers concert at 8 p.m. Dec. 10 and 4 p.m. Dec. 11 at First Presbyterian Church, 1001 NW 25.

Open seating tickets are $15 and are available online at okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227. For the first time, a livestream broadcast will be offered. Details for purchasing the livestream are available via tiny.cc/ocuvespers.

More than 250 instrumentalists and choral singers will combine their talents for performances beneath the glow of the renowned stained-glass windows of First Presbyterian Church. The celebratory concerts feature organ, orchestra, Scripture readings, poetry, congregational singing of favorite carols and a candlelit finale.

“It is an especially great joy to once again bring so many OCU students and faculty together to present our annual Christmas Vespers concerts in this magnificent venue,” said Randi Von Ellefson, director of choral activities at OCU. “This beloved tradition was missed last year by so many, and we are thrilled to be able to reconvene to celebrate the season.”

Highlights of the show include arrangements of familiar carols for choir, orchestra and organ including Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” the traditional Basque carol “The Angel Gabriel,” Kathryn Parrotta’s “There Is No Rose,” Kaitlin C. Martin’s “Christmas Jewel” and Gwyneth Walker’s “What Child Is This.”

The audience is invited to join in traditional carols including “The First Noel” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

Jake Johnson, an OCU alumnus, author and performer, will narrate the event. OCU’s four choirs — Ad Astra, University Singers, University Chorale and University Chamber Singers — are under the direction of Ellefson and Tony Gonzalez. Jeffrey Grogan will lead the OCU Vespers Orchestra, and university organist Melissa Plamann will be featured.

A musical prelude will be held 30 minutes before each concert, highlighting student organists; the OCU Flute Choir, under the direction of Parthena Owens; and the OCU Early Music Ensemble, under the direction of Benjamin Shute and Anastasia Abu Bakar.

The concerts will conclude with “Night of Silence,” the traditional candlelight recessional inspired by “Silent Night.”

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