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November 8, 2010

Christmas Vespers and Tree Lighting Ceremony this Weekend

Lake Erie College invites you to attend Christmas Vespers, one of the College's oldest traditions dating back to the early 1900s, on Sunday, December 5th at 4:30pm at the Morley Music Building.

Christmas Vespers will feature the Lake Erie College Community Chorus, Flute Choir, faculty members including Paul Gothard III, mezzo-soprano Jean Priddy, flautist Judith Elias, Dr. Mark Bell performing on the E.M. Skinner Organ, accompanist Roberta Whitely and student vocal soloists.  

In the early years of the College, Christmas Vespers was a regular Sunday event. Led by College Organist Edward Arthur Kraft, the Lake Erie College Choir would perform every Sunday throughout the year with readings by various members of the Lake Erie College and Painesville communities. The Christmas Vespers is the only one that still survives today. 

 In 1979, to help celebrate the Christmas Vespers tradition, the late Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dr. Harold Fink composed his “Cantata Natalizia”. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, a selection from that cantata, will be performed this year. Also on the program will be his choral work, The Lamb, dating from 1952. 

The tree lighting ceremony, a Christmas Vespers tradition started by former College Organist and music professor, David Gooding in the early 1960s, will be revived this year. The ceremony will involve the Chorus leading the Vespers audience in a candlelit processional to the Christmas tree outside Morley Music Hall. The tree will be lit and the Chorus will sing, A Day of Joyful Singing, a carol composed by David Gooding for that event.

 In 1980, longtime Lake Erie College music professor Paul Gothard III composed “Novo”, which was written in celebration the 125th Anniversary of the College and coincided with Vespers of that year. This year will mark the 30th anniversary of “Novo.”  The Allelujah and Gloria from that cantata will be performed at this year’s Christmas Vespers.   

In the spirit of the season, the concert is presented free as the College’s gift to the community. No reservations are required. For further information contact Paul Gothard at 440.375.7030 or at

Note: This is a news archive and may contain outdated information.


Lake Erie College | 391 West Washington Street | Painesville, Ohio 44077 | 1.855.GO.STORM