‘Erskine Christmas’ offered cheer and a chance to help

Posted on December 7, 2016

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Dr. Keith Timms conducts Bella Voce with Prof. Tobi Otekayi as accompanist.

Students, faculty, staff, and community members enjoyed “An Erskine Christmas” in Memorial Hall Dec. 2-3.

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Student soloists were featured at the concert.

Directed by Assistant Professor of Music Education and Director of Choral Activities Dr. Keith Timms and accompanied by Prof. Tobi Otekayi, the Choraleers, Chamber Singers, and women’s ensemble Bella Voce performed traditional American, Basque, English, French, Scottish, and Ukranian carols, along with some contemporary Christmas pieces and jazz arrangements of traditional carols. Student soloists, instrumentalists, and conductors were featured.

The concert was free, but donations were accepted to help fund the Choraleers’ tour, which this year includes a mission project in which Erskine singers will participate in a Lithuanian-American choir. Erskine students will spend a week in the north of Lithuania just before the annual synod of the Lithuanian Reformed Church.

World Witness missionaries Frank and Emily van Dalen describe the choir project as part of an effort to rebuild the Lithuanian Reformed Church.

“Taking advantage of the fact that 2017 is Reformation Year in Lithuania, we want to introduce Bible songs and hymns to be sung by a joint choir in various churches and public settings,” the van Dalens say. “Most Lithuanian young people under the age of 25 know English very well, so language will not be a barrier. And Lithuanians love to sing.”