Vassar College to Host ‘Service of Lessons and Carols’

POUGHKEEPSIE – Vassar College will host its annual “Service of Lessons and Carols,” an Advent service of readings, choral anthems and congregational carols that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony, in the College Chapel on Sunday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public, and doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. A free-will offering will be taken to support the College’s Community Works campaign, which provides funding to several Hudson Valley organizations.

The program is co-sponsored by Vassar’s Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices and the Department of Music. It will feature Advent and scriptural readings and an ensemble of 160 singers, including the Vassar College Chamber Singers, Vassar College Choir, the Capella Festiva Chamber Choir, and the Cor Capriccio Children’s Choir singing works by Vaughan Williams, Colin Britt, Ola Gjeilo, Rosephanye Powell, and others. The Lessons and Carols Choir is under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Christine R. Howlett and conductors Drew Minter, Maria Cusick (Vassar class of 2026), Laura Russell, and Elizabeth Clifton. College organist Gail Archer, a member of the Music faculty, will play the Gress-Miles organ.

Rev. Samuel Speers, Associate Dean of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices, said the College is always pleased to welcome members of the local community to the event. “We encourage members of the local community and the College community to arrive early for this well-attended event, which marks the beginning of the Christian season of Advent,” Rev. Speers said.

In keeping with current public health concerns, those attending are strongly encouraged to wear masks throughout the service.

About Vassar College
Vassar College, based in Poughkeepsie, NY, is a coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college where perspectives cross, ideas intersect, and passion burns bright. Originally founded to provide women an education equal to that once available only to men, Vassar was the first all-women’s college in the nation to become coeducational when it opened its doors to men in 1969. Vassar fosters an intellectual openness and independence in students, who meet each other as equals, and are encouraged to absorb diverse thought and impassioned dialogue that give them the insight and confidence they will need in a complex world where they will make important contributions. Consistently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the country, Vassar is renowned for pioneering achievements in education, for its long history of curricular innovation, and for the beauty of its campus.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays–Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities can be found on the Accessibility and Educational Opportunity website.

The Vassar campus is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie, NY.

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