Thirty-first annual Christmas concert rings in the season – By Timothy Norris

The Master’s College Music Department performed its 31st annual Christmas concert beginning Dec. 4-6. Led by Dr. Paul Plew, the Music Department Chair, Tricia Hulet, Director of Theater Arts, and various staff members, four concerts were accomplished with the help of almost 200 student participants who are currently pursuing a degree in music as well as many volunteers and alumni of the college.

The production was hosted in the MacArthur Center.

Taking over 60 hours for set up alone, the show included an array of decorations and electronics. This included live Christmas trees, fake snow, stage set props for carolers, fog machines, lights and an enormous chandelier. The family friendly atmosphere, and musical professionalism provided aid in cultivating an environment that ushered in the Christmas season through song.

“Every year the concert has changed a little more and more to be better for the patrons and to be a blessing to them. For a lot of people it is what starts their Christmas season, and today at the Matinee we had people who had been coming for over 15 years. One lady was 99 years old. It’s a tradition for many people in this community. The music ministers in a way that just words alone can’t,” said Michael Jackson, Chorale Member.

The concert originally began in upper Rutherford Hall, eventually making its way to the gymnasium in recent years. It continues to be nonprofit as all of the initial proceeds from ticket sales go directly toward production costs.

“This is the sixth concert that I’ve been involved in and this is definitely the most professional looking that we’ve ever done. We brought in outside companies to setup and had them attend the concert which was so great because most of them are unsaved,” said James Phillipps, an alumni of the college.

This year’s production not only resulted in blessing members of the community, but also those who were involved. The Chorale team earned financial support for their future trip to Albania from donation jars scattered through the venue. The team plans to leave on May 9 and return home the 27th of the same month. The team plans to encourage the evangelical church in the Balkan, in countries such as: Kosovo, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Herzegovina in addition to Albania.

“The purpose of the Chorale is to minister to believers and just to be an encouragement to their hearts. It’s cool that we can reach the community right outside our door and also be able to go overseas and minister to the same type of people 7,000 miles away,” Said Meghan Griffin, a Chorale Member.

Despite the busy schedule that comes upon each full-time student at the end of the semester, this group of college undergrads found a refreshing energy in doing something with a purpose.

“Music is a very powerful thing when involved in it. You can’t wait to do it. You can’t wait to experience the dessert of it all as the energy starts building. You walk into this, with the orchestra, and it begins to take on a life of its own. Every concert got stronger. They did as well as any choir in the world. I really mean that, because they mean it,” Plew said.

By Timothy Norris

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