Christmas Vespers Concerts Set for December 8, 2013

Candlelight procession at 2012 Christmas Vespers in Abbey Chapel

Two Christmas Vespers concerts—a beloved Mount Holyoke tradition—will be presented Sunday, December 8, at 4 pm and 7:30 pm in Abbey Chapel.

The program will feature the Mount Holyoke Glee Club, Chorale, and Chamber Singers—all conducted by Lindsay Pope ’07; the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Mark Gionfriddo; and the English Handbell Ensemble. Organist Larry Schipull will also perform.

The event will begin, as it has for decades, with a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes through the chapel by candlelight. The program will include seasonal choral works from many countries, with traditional songs from Latvia, Georgia, and Puerto Rico. This year’s featured composers are Eric Whitacre, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Francis Poulenc, Abbie Betinis, and Giuseppe Verdi.

The concert will also feature jazz arrangements by MHC’s Gionfriddo and an audience sing-along of familiar Christmas carols.

Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s, and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. This year, some 120 students are expected to perform.

There is no admission charge for the campus Vespers concerts, but there will be a free-will offering held to benefit the Glee Club’s concert/service tour to the Dominican Republic, which is scheduled for March 2014. 

Seating in Abbey Chapel is limited. Doors open 35 minutes before each performance. Abbey Chapel is wheelchair accessible.

Mount Holyoke Vespers in Boston: Vespers will also be performed at 8 pm on Friday, December 6, at Old South Church in Boston’s Copley Square. Tickets are available through the Mount Holyoke Club of Boston.