Westmont hosts its 15th annual Christmas Festival, retelling the Christmas story by weaving narration with music from the Westmont Orchestra, College Choir, Chamber Singers and Choral Union on Friday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 14, at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 3 p.m., all at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Tickets cost $15 each and go on sale Thursday, Nov. 7, at westmont.edu/christmasfestival. The performance, which typically sells out quickly, has become a holiday tradition for many area families.
Each year the program tells the Christmas story in a fresh way and from a new perspective featuring familiar carols and delightfully fresh compositions of the season. This year’s theme, “This Day,” is taken from Luke 2:11.
The College Choir opens the performance with “Hodie Christus natus est” by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and later “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by Richard S. Willis (1819-1900) and arranged by Kirby Shaw. The orchestra, choirs and audience perform “Joy Has Dawned” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, orchestrated by J. A. C. Redford. Westmont Chamber singers will perform “Go Tell It on the Mountain” by John Work (1901-1967).
“The theme is evocative of the transcendent joy of the Christmas story,” says director Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship and festival director.