Gardner-Webb Invites Community to Share in Christmas Tradition

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Festival of Lights Concert and Campus Lighting Scheduled for Dec. 5

A photo of the brass musicians at last year's Festival of Lights standing in front of the decorated Christmas tree in Tucker Student CenterBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University’s annual Christmas gift to the community, the Festival of Lights, will be held on Dec. 5. A tradition for more than three decades, the evening’s festivities begin at 7 p.m. in Dover Theatre, located next to the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center. The holiday celebration is free and open to the public.

“For many in the community, this event is the start of their holiday season,” shared Dr. Paul Etter, chair of the Music Department and professor of music in the School of Performing and Visual Arts. “This concert is our most well-attended by the community. Families come year after year, and it’s nice to be a part of their tradition. The students love doing the Christmas music.”

Several groups will perform, including the Concert Choir, directed by Etter, the Chorale, directed by Dr. Morgan Soja, the Old Time Ensemble, directed by Dr. Bruce Moser, a ladies ensemble and a brass group.

Three students sing in the choir at the programA favorite time during the program is when the audience is invited to sing Christmas carols. These performances will be interspersed with scripture readings by Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University, and the reading of the Christmas story in Luke 2 by GWU President Dr. William M. Downs.

After the musical program, Downs, his wife, Kim, and executive officers of the GWU Student Government Association will lead attendees on a walk through luminary-lighted paths to the quad where Downs will light the campus Christmas tree.

Then, everyone is invited to Tucker Student Center for hot apple cider and cookies. Many families also like to take their picture in front of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the Student Center. The 25-foot Fraser Fir was grown by Rick Moody of Moody Tree Farm in Avery County, N.C.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4264 or email with your request.

Gardner-Webb staff measure a 25-foot Fraser Fir at at Christmas Tree Farm in Avery County
Members of the Gardner-Webb staff went to Avery County, N.C., to pick out a 25-foot Fraser Fir at Moody Tree Farm.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at