Hickory – The Lenoir-Rhyne University A Cappella Choir, College Singers, Brass Ensemble, and Handbell Ensemble will present Met in Thee Tonight: A Lenoir-Rhyne Christmas 2017. On Sunday, Dec. 4 there will be two performances – 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Monday and Tuesday’s performances will begin at 7 p.m. All performances will take place in Grace Chapel.

Following Tuesday’s performance, a tree lighting will occur on the steps of the Rhyne Building. The Brass Ensemble and Choir will lead the crowd in familiar Christmas carols and the LRU Alma Mater. The Rev. Andrew Weisner, University Pastor, will preside.

This year’s program theme, Met in Thee Tonight, was inspired by the 19th Century Christmas hymn “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Phillips Brooks.

Artistic director and LRU Director of Choral Activities Dr. Ryan Luhrs explained, “The lyric ‘Met in thee tonight’ is preceded by the line, ‘The hopes and fears of all the years are…’ As with Mary, shepherds, and others in the Christmas story, we continue to live in a world where fear is present and hope is needed. By using music and scripture to retell the 2000-year-old story of the birth of Jesus, our goal is to bring the message of hope and peace to all who attend.”

LRU ensembles will perform together and separately in the intimate setting of Grace Chapel. A free-will offering will be received following the program.

Luhrs will direct the choral ensembles. Collaborative artist Jeana Neal Borman and University Organist, Dr. Vince Crist, will accompany the choirs and hymn singing. Dr. Christopher Nigrelli, Professor of Music at LRU, will lead the Brass Ensemble, and Spence Robertson, Adjunct Instructor of Music at LRU, will direct the Handbell Ensemble.

Seating is limited and tickets are required. Tickets are free of charge for all concert dates and may be picked up at the LRU Box Office located in P.E. Monroe Auditorium. The LRU Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., through Dec. 5. Please note that the box office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24. Ticket holders are limited to a maximum of 4 tickets. Unused tickets should be returned to the box office and will be made available to the public one hour prior to each performance. Call 828.328.7206 for ticket information.