Gardner-Webb Welcomes Community to Annual Festival of Lights

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Choirs and Ensembles Usher in the Christmas Season

By Katie Furr ’20, Intern for Communications

Performance at Festival of LightsBOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University’s Festival of Lights, a beloved Christmas tradition since 1984, will be returning to campus on Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. Activities begin in Dover Theatre, located next to the Lutz-Yelton Convocation Center (LYCC) on the main campus.

“This is more than just the concert,” shared Dr. Paul Etter, chair of the Music Department and professor of music in the School of Performing and Visual Arts. “There is the lighting of the tree, seeing the luminaries throughout the campus quad and as you walk to Tucker Student Center for the reception, a live nativity scene and all of the Christmas decorations. For some families, the Festival of Lights is what starts Christmas.”

Several groups will perform, including the Concert Choir, directed by Etter, the Chorale, directed by Dr. Morgan Soja, Flute Ensemble, Ladies’ Ensemble, and Gardner-Webb’s award-winning Trumpet Ensemble. 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. Frank Bonner. Additionally, the Old Time Ensemble will play the prelude, and the Brass Ensemble will entertain at the reception.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 10 days prior to the event. Please call 704-406-2155 or email

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduates and graduate students. Ignite your future at