Mount Holyoke's cherished annual tradition, Christmas Vespers, will be presented Sunday, December 4 at 4 pm and 7:30 pm in Abbey Chapel. This year's program will feature the Mount Holyoke Glee Club, Chamber Singers, and Chorale, conducted Lindsay Pope and Amanda Bistolfo; the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by Mark Gionfriddo; and the English Handbell Ensemble. Organist John Anderson will also perform.
The event begins, as it has for decades, with the singing of a traditional Gregorian chant as the College’s Glee Club processes by candlelight. The works that follow will celebrate the beauty of the winter season and range from festive to contemplative, representing a variety of sacred motets, jazz standards, and contemporary compositions. Featured composers include J.S. Bach, Maurice Durufle, Cristobel de Morales, Benjamin Britten, Eleanor Farjeon, James Lord Pierpont, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Abbie Betinis, and J.F. Wade. The concert will also feature traditional music and familiar carols for an audience sing-along.
Mount Holyoke Vespers dates back to the late 1800s and has long been a popular event in the Pioneer Valley and beyond. The concert will also be performed in Boston at the Old South Church on Friday, December 9.
There is no charge for admission, but seating in Abbey Chapel is limited. Doors open 35 minutes prior to each performance. Abbey Chapel is wheelchair accessible.