On Sunday, Dec. 9, the McNicholas Liturgy Choir and Campus Ministry held their second annual Lessons and Carols event for the Advent season. Director of Choirs Chris Albanese brought the program to McNicholas in 2011, hoping to make the event a tradition.
“I performed Lessons and Carols at my high school as well as a similar program in college, and I thought it would be a nice tradition to start at McNick,” Albanese said. “Last year’s performance went over well, and I was happy to receive positive feedback from faculty members that wanted the event to continue.”
For this year’s performance Albanese chose most of the music over the summer, trying to find music that was both diverse in background and collectively cohesive. Albanese chose songs that ranged from classics like “O Holy Night” to the South African song “Siyahamba.”
“I think exposing students to different cultures is an important part of what I do,” Albanese said. “I wanted to create a diverse repertoire, but still choose songs that were cohesive. I also had to make sure not to overwhelm my students, since we were also working on the Madrigal Dinner performance.”
Vocal solos were performed by senior Courtney Dunne, juniors Jennifer Zicka, Anna Redington, Kayla Woods, and Mary Ingram, and sophomores Caroline Jorden and Molly Kidwell. In addition, junior Grace Hiltz had numerous flute solos. The event also included prayers and scripture passages prepared by Director of Campus Ministry Jeff Hutchinson-Smyth and read by student lectors.
“I thought the performance went beautifully,” McNicholas parent Renee Scheidler said. “I came to support my neighbor’s son [senior Corey Shrader] and to celebrate the Advent season with the McNicholas community. The choir sounded fantastic and I thought everyone did a great job.”
Shrader said, “The event was even better than I thought it would be, and people seemed to really enjoy it. I had numerous people tell me they were deeply moved by the experience. I felt that it was a night where we all came together for a communal celebration of hope.”