Grove City College is welcoming Yuletide with a week of music, worship and the lighting of the Christmas Star, which shines over campus as reminder of the celestial signal that heralded the birth of Jesus Christ – the real reason for the season.
First up is the return of in-person Carnegie Christmas Concerts on Nov. 29. The popular weeklong concert series showcases student musical talent, with performances each day at noon through Dec. 3 in the Colonnade of the Carnegie Alumni Center. The series, hosted by the Office of Alumni and College Relations, usually draws crowds from the campus and community for Christmas music and refreshments.
The College will celebrate Light Up Night at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30 on the patio of Mary Anderson Pew (MAP) South residence hall.
A holiday tradition on campus, Light Up Night features refreshments, music and a sing-along with the Wolverine Marching Band and Koinonia Gospel Team, a scripture reading and the traditional recitation of the J. M. Lowrie verse “Star in the East.” Then, the giant star mounted atop the tower of Rockwell Hall is illuminated. It remains lit throughout the season and is visible for miles.
The third annual “A Musical Christmas at Grove City College,” a concert featuring the Concert Choir, GCC Singers, Jazz Ensemble, Stage Band, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3 in Ketler Auditorium of the Pew Fine Arts Center.
The Department of Music production includes over 150 individual students and culminates in a sing-along with the combined ensembles and the audience. The Chamber Orchestra will also be joined by members of the Pittsburgh Youth Choir and GCC Singers in a performance of “Somewhere in My Memory” from the movie “Home Alone.”
The week wraps up on Sunday, Dec. 5 in Harbison Chapel with a pair of candlelight services to celebrate the savior’s birth more than two millennia ago and his presence today in the life of the campus’ Christian community through liturgy, music and believers passing on Christ’s light from candle to candle. Services are scheduled at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.
The worship ritual symbolizes the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic vision of Christ as the light of the world coming into our darkness, Rev. Donald D. Opitz, chaplain and senior director of Christian Formation, said.
“The light image is more than a metaphor, for God is effulgent in radiant glory … We raise candles in worship, knowing that Christ is the light of the world and that his glory burns within us, and that together we are the luminous community called to bear witness in the darkness,” Opitz said.
All Christmastime events and observances will be livestreamed at www.gcc.edu/livestream.