North Park University to Present Annual Festival of Lessons and Carols
Collaboration between University and neighborhood youth musicians begins at 4:00 pm, December 7, at Our Lady of Mercy in Albany Park
CHICAGO (December 2, 2014) — This Sunday, December 7, North Park University will present a Festival of Lessons and Carols at Our Lady of Mercy Church in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago. The annual Advent service, which begins at 4:00 pm, is a collaboration among more than 200 North Park musicians, the People’s Music School Youth Orchestras, and the Chicago Children’s Choir—Albany Park Division.
The University presents the Festival of Lessons and Carols at no cost to attendees, although because of capacity it is recommended that guests reserve tickets online. Limited seating is still available for the event that annually draws nearly 1,000 guests.
Festival of Lessons and Carols services originate in the Anglican tradition, with the first one held on Christmas Eve in 1880 in Cornwall, England. An alternating series of Scripture readings and music tell the story of Christ, from the creation of the world to the birth of Jesus. Musical selections include well-known advent and Christmas hymns, and pieces from contemporary composers, sung in multiple languages.
A hallmark of North Park’s service, now in its seventh year, is the collaboration between University musicians and neighborhood youth orchestra and choir groups. It’s part of a year-round relationship, as the Chicago Children’s Choir practices regularly on North Park University’s campus, and North Park students often serve as instructors at the People’s Music School Youth Orchestras at nearby Hibbard Elementary School.
“This gathering of different communities into worship at this time of year is one of the special traditions at North Park University,” said University President Dr. David L. Parkyn. “By celebrating our Christian heritage and the birth of Christ with the diverse group of performers and guests from our neighborhood, we reflect the unity in the Christmas message."
Dr. Julia Davids, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at North Park, says this year’s theme, Glory!, represents looking up towards the brilliance of Jesus's birth. She added, "Keeping our focus on Christ's glory can help us through this very busy time of year and redirect our thoughts to what is most important.”
Prior to the event, the Chicago Children’s Choir and People’s Music School Youth Orchestras will perform a recital at 3:30 pm. “Part of the Chicago Children's Choir's mission is to bring people from all walks of life together through the power of music,” said Youna Cho, Chicago Children's Choir—Albany Park Division neighborhood conductor. “With this collaboration among North Park University’s School of Music, the Chicago Children’s Choir, and the young musicians from YOURS Orchestras, we’re truly bringing together the Albany Park community.”
Our Lady of Mercy Church is located at 4432 North Troy Street, Chicago, approximately one mile from the North Park University campus. Parking is available in the two church lots and on the street.