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SMC hosts ‘Lessons & Carols’

| Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Church of Our Lady of Loretto will host two events this Christmas season, “Lessons and Carols” on December 14, and Christmas at Loretto on December 21. Both celebrations begin at 7:30 p.m.    

Saint Mary’s College Music Department and Campus Ministry present “Lessons and Carols” each year to commemorate the birth of Christ around campus, while Christmas at Loretto is presented by the South Bend Chamber Singers, an ensemble in residence at the College.

According to the press release, the South Bend Chamber Singers present the Christmas at Loretto as part of its 26th season of performing. The group contains approximately 30 members all from throughout north central Indiana and southwestern Michigan.

Community members, Saint Mary's students and Sisters of the Holy Cross attend last year's "Lessons and Carols."Photo courtesy of Nancy Menk

Community members, Saint Mary’s students and Sisters of the Holy Cross attend last year’s “Lessons and Carols.”

“Lessons and Carols” includes performances from the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir, the Collegiate Choir, the Loretto Choir, the Liturgical Choir and Moreau Chamber Ensemble. It will also include pieces done by multiple groups in collaboration with each other.

Senior Women’s Choir member Claire Stewart said listening to the different ensembles creates a wonderful atmosphere for the audience and the choirs likewise to come together.

“Every group has a completely different sound,” Stewart said. “It’s great to have an opportunity to support each other by performing for and with one another. It gives us a chance to learn from each other and share in our passion for music.”

Nancy Menk, Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music, also serves as conductor and music director of the South Bend Chamber Singers.

“Lessons and Carols is Saint Mary’s College’s own take on the traditional Anglican service,” Menk said.  “It is a beautiful service and a great way to end the semester and prepare for the busy finals week ahead.  All students should come.”

The traditional Advent and Christmas carols the assembly sings essential to “Lessons and Carols” are based on the Anglican Christmas Eve Service, according to the press release.

Anna Fanelli, a senior Women’s Choir member, said “Lessons and Carols” puts the audience and singers alike in the right mindset for Christmas.

“It really centers you and prepares you to think about the Christmas season,” Fanelli said. “Everyone comes together with a common purpose.”

According to the press release, Christmas at Loretto includes beautiful Christmas music composed by mostly living musicians and concludes with a candle-lit singing of Silent Night.

Menk said Christmas at Loretto marks the beginning of the holiday season for many South Bend residents.

“The Church is always filled with people anxious to hear some new seasonal music in a great acoustic, and to be surrounded by the Singers for the closing, candlelit Silent Night,” Menk said.

“Lessons and Carols” is a free event. Tickets for Christmas at Loretto can be purchased in advance or at the door for $14. Ticket information available on the Moreau Center website.

About Kiera Johnsen

A SoCal native majoring in communications and political science

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