Rehearsals for the Christmas Vespers Concert began in October for both the ACU Orchestra and Choir, who have been working hard for this seasons upcoming show.
This years Christmas Vespers Concert is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Abilene on 1333 N. 3rd Street. Admission is free for everyone.
This years 6th annual concert theme is “In Terra Pax”, which translates to “Peace on Earth,” and has been a tradition since 2007. This concert involves about 180 performers, which are mostly ACU students.
The choir, orchestra and vocal soloists will feature the movement In Terra Pax by English composer Gerald Finzi this year. There will be hymns and carols, which will involve audience participation.
The Christmas Vespers Concert involves more than just music in the performance. There will also be liturgical readings, scripture and poetry.
“The atmosphere is a beautiful and sacred time of great music, celebration and reflection on the season,” said Dr. Steven Ward, director of bands and orchestra of music.
Ward will be involved in this performance, along with Dr. Paul Piersall, interim director of choirs, who will conduct the choir.
“It’s my favorite concert of the year,” said Phillip Jackson, sophomore music education and vocal performance major from League City.
Jackson is a tenor in the ACU A Capella choir, and this is his second year to be a part of the Christmas Vespers performance.
“Paul Piersall is a very fine conductor and everyone should come see what all he has done for us as a choir,” Jackson said.
Special guests at this concert include Dr. Jack Reese from the Graduate School of Theology, Dr Stephen Johnson, dean of the Honors College, Dwane Swearingen-Meeks, assistant professor of theater, harpist Megan Li and Hye-Jean Choi, assistant professor of organ at Hardin-Simmons University.
“Christmas Vespers has become one of the truly special events in Abilene during the Christmas season,” Ward said.
Ward said he expects 600-800 people to attend this concert from ACU and the greater Abilene community.