The ninth annual Westmont Christmas Festival, “Prepare the Way,” features music spanning 600 years celebrating Advent and Christmas Dec. 6-8 at First Presbyterian Church. Tickets, which are $25 each and support the Westmont Choir’s tour to Russia in spring 2014, are still available for the special benefit performance on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Tickets can only be purchased online at: westmont.edu/christmasfestival. For more information, please contact the Westmont Music Department at (805) 565-6040.
The festival has become one of the most popular holiday events in Santa Barbara, selling out each of three performances the past eight years. Tickets quickly sold out for this year’s three performances Dec. 6-7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m. This is the first year the Westmont Music Department has added a Saturday matinee fundraiser.
This year’s festival theme, “Prepare the Way,” speaks to three perspectives of the Christian experience. “There is the Old Testament prophetic voice calling us to make the path ready for Messiah, which naturally leads to the story of the Christ child,” says Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship and festival director. “Then, there is the call of John the Baptist to prepare for the coming of Jesus and his ministry among us. In the present day there is the call to prepare for the second coming of Christ.”
The music and readings of the festival will celebrate and proclaim all three modes of preparedness. “Traditional carols of the season will be intertwined with historic and contemporary choral masterpieces performed by the 60-piece Westmont Orchestra and 100 combined voices of the Westmont choirs,” Shasberger says.