"Festival of Christmas" coming Dec. 2-4

Tabor Performing Arts will open the Christmas season in a new way in 2022.

Festival of Christmas

The brand-new “Festival of Christmas” will feature three programs over the weekend of Dec. 2-4. The three-night event will feature Tabor’s Contemporary Christian Music team, Symphonic Band & Concert Choir, and the annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Each event will take place inside the Richert Auditorium of the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts. They are all free and open to the public.

For His Glory, Tabor’s worship team, will perform contemporary and traditional versions of Christmas carols on Friday, Dec. 2. Led by David Martens, director of contemporary Christian music, the student group is thrilled to open the weekend for the campus and community.

“The For His Glory team of students and myself are excited to worship with the broader Tabor community as we celebrate the incarnation,” Martens said. “We will focus our attention on Christ’s coming as a baby, using both traditional and modern songs of the season.”

The Saturday, Dec. 3, performance will feature multiple groups, including a guest high school choir.

The Tabor Concert Choir, conducted by Dr. Greg Zielke; Symphonic Band, conducted by Dr. R Christopher Teichler; and Chamber Voices, conducted by Prof. Brian Stranghoner, will all perform during the event. Tabor Performing Arts will also welcome the Halstead High School (Kan.) choir to the stage. The guest choir is directed by Clair Clifford.

Teichler will debut his new composition, “Incarnation,” during the Saturday evening performance.

“With the change in the semester calendar this year, it’s nice to be able to do a Christmas performance,” Teichler said. “It will be the one time that all of our band and choir students are performing together at the same event. I am especially excited for the band and choir to premiere my new piece, ‘Incarnation.’ The text celebrates the mystery and majesty of our Lord coming to earth, and to perform and share this with other Christians will be truly special.”

The annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” will close the weekend, taking place at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4. Alumni, community members, family, and friends are invited to participate alongside the Tabor Concert Choir. There is no fee to participate, but all participants are required to attend a rehearsal on Dec. 3 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Dec. 4 from 3-5 p.m. Tabor students will also host a luncheon for alumni on Dec. 3. Sign up for the performance and find more information on the meal at www.tabor.edu/messiah

“We’re thrilled to bring the Messiah back to the first weekend of December, serving as the finale to the inaugural ‘Festival of Christmas,’” Zielke said. “We invite anyone to be a part of the performance, celebrating a wonderful tradition of the season at Tabor College.”