St. Andrew's-Sewanee School will offer its first Christmas Revels Concert on Wednesday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. in McCrory Hall for the Performing Arts on the SAS campus.
The concert, under the direction of SAS music director J.R. Ankney, is a festival of lessons and carols with audience participation.
"I have spent a lifetime steeped in the rich Anglican tradition of the Festival of nine lessons and carols," said Ankney. "On Christmas eve, I eagerly awaited the choir of King's College England singing the beautiful opening hymn Once in Royal David's City with a young chorister chosen at the last moment to sing the opening verse. Equally powerful to me is the celebration of the winter solstice, and its not-very-coincidental proximity to the celebration of Christmas. Many years ago, I had the unique opportunity to attend one of the first performances of a Christmas Revels at the Sanders Theatre on the campus of Harvard University. I was struck by the joyousness of the night, how the entire audience became a part of the event, that there seemed to be a shared love of hearty singing, and that I was suddenly part of a large party that spilled off the stage and into and around the entire audience."
Close to 100 SAS student musicians and readers will be a part of the event. The audience will sing together and be sung to. There will be dancing. "We will hear God's word about his promise for the world," according to Ankney. "We will listen to wise and beautiful words from poets about the traditions and meanings of the season. And, we will revel in the family spirit of SAS that is - for one night - free from commercials, too many Santas, and the hysteria of the season."
The concert is free and open to the public. McCrory Hall will open for general seating at 7:15 p.m. Following the concert, there will be a holiday reception in the Spencer Room in the Langford Building.