WERE YOU THERE ON THAT CHRISTMAS NIGHT?
Hillsdale First UMC's Annual Christmas Concert, December 10
A CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS IN SCRIPTURE AND SONG / by Lloyd Larson
The program celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ through choral music, selections for handbells, scripture readings, and brief reflections. This annual event included the spirited singing of familiar Christmas carols by choir and audience.
Performing was the Hillsdale First UMC Chancel Choir, a Hillsdale College Chamber Orchestra, and the Hillsdale First UMC Handbell Choir, all under the direction of Music Director, John Ourensma.
ALMA COLLEGE CHOIR CONCERT
On Sunday, March 19, Hillsdale First UMC hosted a concert by the Alma Choir, under the direction of Dr. Will Nichols. The program by the choir from Alma College, Alma, Michigan, included sacred classics for unaccompanied choir, as well as some selections with piano accompaniment, and a closing set of rousing spirituals. The group's long-standing reputation for excellence, its many traditions and its ambitious performing, touring and recording schedule attract talented students for whom choral singing is an important part of their lives.
Dr. Nichols has been directing the Alma College choral program since 1983 and is active as a professional singer and composer.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS SILENT FILM, accompanied by Dr. John Schwandt
On Sunday, January 22, Hillsdale First United Methodist Church offered a screening of The Ten Commandments, Cecil B. DeMille's 1923 blockbuster silent movie depicting the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. The showing included live pipe organ accompaniment much like the film would have been originally presented in theatres of the day. Guest artist, John Schwandt, from the University of Oklahoma, and a master of this art form, returned to Hillsdale after his acclaimed performance presenting The King of Kings last year.
Dr. Schwandt is a nationally acclaimed performer and is in demand as a clinician, recitalist, leader of hymn festivals, silent film accompanist and as an organ consultant. Dr. Schwandt has been a featured performer for the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) and the Organ Historical Society (OHS). He has been featured numerous times on American Public Media’s Pipedreams broadcasts. Equally at home on a classical or theatrical pipe organ, he is known for his musical versatility and ability to excite and engage audiences of every kind.