This weekend was the CSP Choral Christmas Concert. CSP’s two choirs, Jubilate and Christus, were featured along with the Handbells Ensemble and an orchestra. I am in Jubilate Choir, so I know firsthand the hours that were devoted to preparation for the event. The theme of the concert was Glad Tidings of Great Joy, which focused on the coming of Christ bringing joy and peace to the world which is otherwise without hope. Interwoven amidst the music were spoken scriptures and translations of the words being sung. This allowed for an overarching story to be created.
This is annual concert–a Christmas ritual that CSP participates in each year–is planned out minute-by-minute, carefully crafted by Dr. Mennicke and Professor Speer. This is the 29th year that Dr. Mennicke has been a director here at CSP, and the 29th year that he has conducted the concert. One of the things that he talked to the choirs about before going on is how this tradition often brings back alumni from years and years ago. The audience is not only comprised of parents and family, but of past students — some of which no longer have strong ties with CSP. This annual ritual of a Christmas concert attracts many people who would never otherwise come together — but we all join for the celebration of Christ and to take part in this rich tradition of choral music.
I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the concert. Being a part of a ritual with such a deep past, it was evident that this event was important. It was shown not only from the time that was devoted it, but from the people who came to participate both on and off the stage. There was a common reverence for the message and the music. Music is able to bring people together in a unique way. This concert displayed that in how it used music to connect the past and the present as different generations were able to celebrate how the coming of Christ continues to inspire joy and hope.