Posted by Philip Poole on 2014-11-19

By Emily Duval

The holiday season is approaching, and Samford University has many events to celebrate.

Samford’s Dr. Chandler and Jane Paris Smith Opera Series repeats the tradition of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Performances are Nov. 20-21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Leslie S. Wright Fine Arts Center. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students, and are available for purchase online or at the box office.

Written by American composer Gian Carlo Menotti, the Christmas opera is about the three Wise Men visiting a family on their way to see the Christ child. Students involved in Samford Opera, Samford Orchestra and the Department of Theatre and Dance are collaborating for the production.

“It’s the perfect show for young and old as we prepare our hearts for Christmas,” said opera director Kristin Kenning, assistant professor of music.

Christmas Around the World is one of Samford’s oldest and largest Christmas events. It is coordinated by the Department of World Languages and Cultures. The convocation event is Dec. 4 at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel and features songs, readings and prayers by groups representing 20 different languages.

“This is a moving, spiritual event that showcases the fact that Christmas is a worldwide celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ,” said Mike Ledgerwood, chair of the world languages and cultures department.

Hanging of the Green will once again usher in the Christmas season on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6:00 p.m. in Reid Chapel. Now in its 35th year, this ceremony reflects the meaning of Christmas through decorating Reid Chapel with garlands, lighting the Advent wreath and decorating the Chrismon tree while the University Chorale performs.

“The Hanging of the Green ceremony is important for the Samford community. There is a richness in this tradition that sets the ceremony apart from many of the services we offer to students,” said April Robinson, minister to students and Hanging of the Green coordinator.

This year Hanging of the Green and Christmas Around the World will be available online via live streaming video.

Following Hanging of the Green, the Lighting of the Way celebration will begin. Luminaries will be lit around the Centennial Walk and the University Quadrangle. A live band will play, and snacks will be served. The lighting of the Samford Christmas tree on Centennial Walk completes the celebration.

An advent vespers service, led by Samford’s A Cappella Choir, is set for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5, in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel.

The staff of Christenberry Planetarium will present a new “Star of Bethlehem” show Dec. 4-6 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. The event is free to the public and explores the astronomical explanations for the most famous astronomical event of the Christmas tradition. The planetarium is located in Propst Hall. 

Retired art professor Lowell Vann will do his annual Christmas chalk talk during Dec. 2 convocation. The 10 a.m. service in Reid Chapel will include the singing of traditional Christmas carols, according to University Minister Matt Kerlin.
 Related story

Emily Duval is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Office of Marketing and Communications.