Campus comes together at Christmastime

It’s going to look a lot like Christmas next week at Grove City College with a series of community holiday events centered on faith, fellowship, fun, and festive music.

The celebration of Christ’s birth will include holiday lights, great music from talented students and faculty, sweet treats, and a beautiful and evocative worship service in Harbison Chapel.

“At Grove City College we exalt Jesus Christ as Lord of all, and we see him as the heart of our curriculum and the center of or community. We give expression to our adoration of Jesus all through the year, and we can’t help but to turn up the volume as we celebrate the coming of Christmas together,” said Rev. Donald D. Opitz, chaplain and senior director of Christian Formation. “In each festive gathering, full of music and friendship, Jesus himself is near, and we are invited to behold the Word made flesh, the Light of the world!”

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the College will hold its annual Light Up Night, a fun family event that culminates with the lighting of the giant star atop Rockwell Hall of Science. The celestial symbol recalls the star that heralded Christ’s birth and guided shepherds and kings to Bethlehem for the first Christmas.

Light Up Night features a traditional Christmas carol sing-along led by the College’s Marching Band and Koinonia/Gospel Team, snacks and hot chocolate, a gospel message, and the annual recitation of J.M. Lowrie’s “Star in the East” just before the star is lit.

It is free and open to the public and begins at 5 p.m. on the patio of Mary Anderson Pew Hall South.

Carnegie Alumni Center will host a weeklong series of public lunchtime Christmas Concerts at noon daily, Monday, Nov. 28 to Friday, Dec. 2. The public is welcome to attend, hear talented students celebrate the season with music and song, and enjoy some hot chocolate and Christmas cookies.

The schedule includes:

  • Monday: Vocal performance.
  • Tuesday: GCC Singers, Trombone Choir.
  • Wednesday: Clarinet Quartet, Saxophone Quintet.
  • Thursday: Gallery Brass, String Quartet, Trumpet Ensemble.
  • Friday: Flute Duo, Touring Choir.

On Friday, Dec. 2, The Department of Music presents the fourth annual “A Musical Christmas at Grove City College” at 7:30 p.m. in Ketler Auditorium of the Pew Fine Arts Center.

There will be 171 individual students on stage during the evening and the following ensembles will be represented: Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band, Concert Choir, GCC Singers, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra. All full-time music faculty are involved either with conducting or reading narration.

Among the music highlights will be the Jazz Ensemble performing an arrangement of Let it Snow! by Dr. Joseph Hasper (Jazz Ensemble Director and Associate Professor of Music). In addition, the Wind Ensemble will perform the ever popular “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson, the choirs will sing Tidings of Comfort and Joy as well as And the Glory of the Lord from “The Messiah” by Handel. The Chamber Orchestra will include an arrangement of “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” by Matt Riley featuring two Celtic fiddling style violin soloists. The evening will conclude with an audience sing-along of the Hallelujah Chorus from “The Messiah” and also the annual Christmas Sing-Along featuring various carols.

The show will be livestreamed online at

On Saturday, Dec. 3, old St. Nick treks to Grove City College for the annual Alumni and Friends Santa Breakfast at 9:30 a.m. in MAP Café. Enjoy the most important meal of the day with Santa and Mrs. Claus and other North Pole friends. Registration is required for this event by Nov. 23 at

On Sunday, Dec. 4, the College’s Office of Christian Formation holds its annual Christmas Candlelight Service at 6:30 p.m. and again at 8:30 p.m. in Harbison Chapel.

In addition to the liturgy and Opitz’s sermon on Matthew 2:1-12 “Behold Him!,” worshippers will hear music from the College’s Gallery Brass Quintet and Touring Choir, led by Dr. Katherine Mueller, associate professor of Music and Choral Director, and accompanied by College Organist Bradley Fitch. The service culminates with the passing of candlelight throughout Harbison Chapel. Members of the Christian Formation staff, Student Ministry Council, Worship Team, and Global Outreach will serve the light.

The services will be livestreamed online at

Campus comes together at Christmastime

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