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Many Communities Usher in Christmas at Inter-Denominational Event
2009-11-24
Dr. Schellenberg rehearses with the College Choir

Festival of Christmas Praise at Providence College and Seminary Will Bring Many Traditions Together on Dec. 4 and 5

The local Otterburne and surrounding communities will gather to start the Christmas season in festive fashion with the Festival of Christmas Praise at Providence College and Seminary on Dec. 4 and 5 at 7:30 pm.

Hosting more than 900 people some years, the long-standing event is unique in Southern Manitoba as it crosses denominational boundaries and offers a Christmas celebration that people from all traditions can enjoy. The event is special to many communities including the local Francophone residents, Hutterite community as well as people from Winnipeg and Steinbach.

Dr. Henry Schellenberg, conductor of the Providence College Choir, says, “[This event] demonstrates how people coming together to sing and make beautiful music can be a profound musical and spiritual experience.”

For many, like Providence singer Stephanie Andrews, the event is a tradition, ushering in the Advent season with celebration and reflection.

“It’s a place where everyone can come together to celebrate Christmas and I absolutely love Christmas so this is the most important event,” Andrews says.

For Schellenberg the best part in being involved with this event is seeing not only the hard work of the semester come to fruition but, “seeing the faces and hearing the audience members joining in unison” to sing timeless Christmas carols.

The concert takes the musical talents of Providence students and combines them with the professional sounds of the Winnipeg Brass Quintet.

“We usually try to feature a piece of music that makes full use of the expertise of the brass musicians,” says Schellenberg

This year’s featured work, a setting of the Gloria text by contemporary American composer Randol Bass, is a bright and festive piece that Schellenberg said will see both choir and brass pulling out, “all the stops.”

The concerts take place at Providence's R.W. Affleck Chapel in Otterburne. Admission is free. Please visit the event page for more details.

 
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