The Baker and Baldwin City community will unite in holiday spirit at the 81st Annual Candlelight Vespers hosted by Baker University’s Department of Music at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Baldwin City First United Methodist Church.
There will be performances by the Baker Concert Choir, Baker Chamber Choir, Baker Orchestra, Baker Percussion Ensemble, Baker Brass Ensemble, Baker Speech Choir, Little Big Band Jazz Ensemble, Buel A. Hill Quartet and the University Community Choir.
Each choir will sing an assortment of songs ranging from fun, Christmas songs to more serious ones. The music department comes together annually to put on the concert and to create holiday spirit among the community.
“I have been doing this for four years,” senior Rachel Schulte said. “I like this concert a lot because it brings the community together for the holiday season.”
The program has grown over the decades and has made a lasting impact on the community.
Since Director of Choral Activities Matthew Potterton came to Baker two years ago, the choir has grown and so has the community involvement within the Vespers concert.
With more effort from the community, the choir has done two performances rather than one and the church is overloaded each year.
“Vespers helps bring the university and the community into one place,” Schulte said. “It shows the importance of friends and family during the holiday season.”
This year, the choir hired a choreographer to help students add some dance in with their vocals.
Junior Warren Swenson is a member of the Baker University Speech Choir, who will also perform that day.
Last year was the first year for speech choir to be involved in Vespers and it hopes to follow up on the great performance from last year.
“I think it was a success to add the speech component to the performance, and I am really appreciative to see that my choir has been added to this cool event that has so much involvement from the campus and community, and brings so many talents together,” Swenson said.
Freshman Carly Berblinger will be participating in her first Vespers this year. She is also a member of speech choir and is excited to be a part of the meaningful program.
“I am a little nervous because it’s an honored tradition at Baker, but I also am really excited to take part because I really like our script for speech choir and think it will be a great performance,” Berblinger said.