Now in its third year, Westmont’s Christmas Festival has gained a loyal following, selling out again despite the addition of a third performance. Bringing together all the arts, the program featured the Chamber Orchestra and multiple choirs as well as dance, dramatic readings and visual art. Through traditional and contemporary holiday music, performers celebrated the theme, The Heavens Are Telling the Glory of God. Celestial images from Westmont’s Keck Telescope appeared on the ceiling and walls throughout the concert.
After listening to the Christmas Oratorio “Jauchzet Frohlocket” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Verbum caro factum est” by Hans Leo Hassler, and “The Heavens Are Telling” from Franz Joseph Haydn’s “The Creation,” the audience joined in singing traditional carols.
The Westmont student dance company, The Windancers, presented “Change” in November. The dance recital featured original pieces set to contemporary music, followed by a talk-back with the dancers and choreographers.
The performance explored the theme of change in relationships, society and spiritual faith. Choreographers included dance professor Erlyne Whiteman, alumna Leah Benson and student Stacey Williams.
Acclaimed children’s book artists C.F. Payne, Lisbeth Zwerger and Gregory Manchess exhibited their colorful work in Reynolds Gallery’s “Storytellers: Children’s Book Illustrators” in November and December. The artists signed books at the opening reception.
Payne is one of America’s most treasured illustrators, capturing the hearts of millions with his poignant back covers for Reader’s Digest. He has won numerous gold and silver medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, as well as its prestigious Hamilton King Award. Payne’s children’s books include two collaborations with Emmy award-winning actor John Lithgow.
Viennese artist Zwerger devotes her work exclusively to children’s literature. According to Publishers Weekly, her unique folk-art style conveys “both poignancy and sly humor” in her illustrations of classics from Dickens to the Brothers Grimm. She has won nearly every award an illustrator can, including the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for lifetime accomplishments.
Manchess has illustrated for such prestigious clients as National Geographic, Time and The Atlantic Monthly. He received the prestigious Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators in New York in 1999 and has won multiple medals from the same institution.