Mississippi College Alumni Magazine | Fall 2010

The Festival of Lights Celebrates 25 Years

Festival of Lights marks its 25th anniversary in grand style at Provine Chapel

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December 2-4, 2010, Mississippi College’s Festival of Lights will mark its 25th anniversary in grand style at Provine Chapel.

In celebration of the Christmas season, the MC Singers plus faculty and staff will be joined in song by members of the choral group’s alumni from the past quarter-century. This year’s performances will also include a special tribute to the festival’s founder, Dr. James Richard Joiner, with a commissioned work by heralded composer David Brunner.

Choral group director James Meaders was a student in the choir in the first Festival of Lights production 25 years ago.

“The Festival of Lights began quite humbly in the Jennings Hall Courtyard on a chilly night in December, 1986,” Meaders recalls. “The choir sang from the balconies and maybe 100 people were in attendance.”

More than 1,200 people now attend the Festival of Lights. The tradition grew under Joiner’s leadership, moving to Provine Chapel in the late 1980s and adding a second performance. With the move to Provine came the addition of the candlelight processional, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” Under Meaders’ direction since 1998, the format of the Festival of Lights has been adapted to reflect the famed Service of Lessons and Carols at King’s College in Cambridge, England.

“The Festival of Lights kicks off my Christmas season every year,’’ says MC senior Audra Riggs, president of the MC Singers. “It’s special to be part of a tradition with so many who have attended MC.”

The James S. Sclater Chamber Series

The inaugural season of the James S. Sclater Chamber Series honors a longtime Mississippi College professor and award-winning composer who has mentored hundreds of aspiring musicians.

A renowned composer, Sclater retired last spring after four decades of service to the MC School of Music. Dr. Sclater’s performance history includes membership in the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the chamber duo LYRICAS, and the Fondren Presbyterian Church choir. Sclater has written more than 125 original works; his music has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia. He has been honored with annual ASCAP awards recognizing excellence in composition since 1991.

The James S. Sclater Chamber Series began in August and will continue through the spring of 2011. Designed for the intimate space of the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall, the series features local artists, as well as performers of international renown.

January 21, 2011
Franz Schubert, Piano Quintet in A Major, D. 667 “Trout”

March 3, 2011
The Swingle Singers
The five-time Grammy-winning Swingle Singers are an international a cappella phenomenon. Their repertoire includes classical, jazz, Latin, pop, and rock music, all accompanied by their own vocal rhythm section. The Swingle Singers have released more than 50 recordings and have performed across the United Kingdom, America, Asia, and virtually every country in Europe.

April 8, 2011
W. Amadeus Mozart, Wind Octet in E-flat Major, K. 375

For ticket information, please call 601.925.3440 or music.mc.edu.

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