Samford University musicians are rehearsing to premiere an anthem that was commissioned to celebrate Samford's 160th anniversary. The work by Birmingham composer K. Lee Scott will serve as the processional for the 2001 Festival of Christmas Music Friday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Center Concert Hall.
The text, "Ring Out, Ye Crystal Spheres," is an excerpt from John Milton's Ode: On the Morning of Christ's Nativity.
The processional will be sung by the A Cappella Choir and University Chorale, accompanied by organ and the Bells of Buchanan handbell choir. Samford School of Performing Arts dean Dr. Milburn Price will conduct.
According to Scott, Milton's text is considered by many to be the greatest Christmas poem of all time. "Milton was only 21 years old when he wrote it, and it was his first great work," said Scott of the celebratory text.
Scott's composition includes parts for handbells, tubular bells and a glockenspiel, in addition to the organ. It calls for five octaves of handbells.
The anthem has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press. The published version will bear an inscription acknowledging that it was commissioned for Samford's 160th anniversary and the 2001 Festival of Christmas Music.
Scott has some 350 compositions in print.
The Festival of Christmas Music will also feature choral music for the Advent and Christmas season, including Ottorino Respighi's setting of Laud to the Nativity.
Tickets are $10 adults and $5 students. For information, call 726-2851.
Samford was founded in 1841 in Marion, Alabama, and moved to the East Lake area of Birmingham in 1887. In 1957, it relocated to its present campus in Homewood.