HICKORY, N.C. — “A Lenoir-Rhyne Christmas,” the university’s annual holiday concert, commences the season as only music can.
The beloved tradition brings the university and community together for a celebration of joy and fellowship. Tickets are available to the public starting Thursday, Oct. 20. Four performances are scheduled in Grace Chapel on Lenoir-Rhyne’s campus:
- Thursday, Dec. 1 – 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, Dec. 2 – 7:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Dec. 3 – 5 and 7:30 p.m.
The Saturday evening performance at 7:30 p.m. will be live-streamed and accessible at www.lr.edu/live. Guests for all performances are encouraged to be seated 15 minutes before the event starts.
This year’s theme, “The Weary World Rejoices,” comes from the first verse of the familiar hymn, “O Holy Night,” in which the birth of Jesus Christ inspires “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” The lyric reflects the way many people feel after more than two years of turmoil from the global pandemic and other challenges.
“As life gets back to something close to normal, ‘the weary world rejoices.’ Although we're still weary from the impact of an ongoing pandemic and social and political unease, the Christmas story is a message of peace, hope and joy.” said Ryan Luhrs, Ph.D., associate professor of music and director of choral activities.
In addition to “O Holy Night,” other carols on the program follow the concept of joy, though sometimes with a minor key, such as “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel” and “Carol of the Bells.” The program also acknowledges the choir's past and future international travels -- an Irish-influenced "Joy to the World" and "Star of the County Down" that recalls the 2019 trip, as well as music by composers Francisco Guerrero, Alberto Taule and Javier Busto that looks ahead to the choir's May 2023 tour to Spain.
“This event is about the power of singing to celebrate and commemorate a time of year when people have strong memories attached to music," Luhrs shared. "We connect with our ancestors and with the next generation when we gather to sing the music of the season."
The concert will feature the university A Cappella Choir, College Singers, Brass Ensemble, a string quartet, the chapel’s pipe organ and additional student instrumentalists.
In addition to Luhrs, faculty collaborating on the concerts include Jeana Neal Borman, collaborative artist and pianist; Cory Westby, organist and university cantor; and the Rev. Todd Cutter, university pastor and director of spiritual life. Christopher Nigrelli, DMA, professor of music, leads the brass ensemble.
Tickets available starting Oct. 20
Seating is limited, and tickets are required. Tickets are free for all concert dates and may be picked up at the LR Box Office in P.E. Monroe Auditorium beginning Thursday, Oct. 20. The LR Box Office will be open weekdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. for as long as tickets remain available. Tickets may also be reserved by telephone at 828.328.7296.
Ticket holders are limited to a maximum of four tickets. A standby line will be available for those who cannot reserve a ticket. Although no guarantees can be made, historically, all in the standby line have been seated. Those with unused tickets are strongly encouraged to return them to the box office. Returned tickets will be made available to the public one hour before each performance.
About Lenoir-Rhyne University: Founded in 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne University is a co-educational, private liberal arts institution with 55 undergraduate degree programs and nearly 20 graduate degree programs. LR enrolls more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. LR’s main campus is in Hickory, North Carolina, where both undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered. The university also offers graduate degree programs on its campuses in Asheville, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina. The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is also in Columbia. LR is affiliated with the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The website is www.lr.edu.