The Goshen College Music Department is jump-starting the holiday season this weekend with their traditional concert, Festival of Carols. The already sparkly Sauder Hall will be lit with twinkling Christmas lights along with other decorations, including a tall, ornate tree.

“It’s different every year,” said Deb Brubaker, director of the Women’s Choir and Chamber Choir. “This year, though, we have new decorations!”

The choirs will fill the stands and the orchestra will fill the stage, and these assorted groups of the music department will perform a variety of colorful pieces, some with a more traditional background, some more recent compositions and even some with a little dancing.

And the performers won’t just be those familiar Goshen College student faces. A Goshen area children’s choir called Shout for Joy will join the masses on stage. There will also be readings done by people of the Goshen community.

“It’s the only concert that we do all together and we really enjoy it,” noted Scott Hochstetler, director of the Men’s Choir and Chorale. For the Festival, “all together” means fitting hundreds of performers on one stage, something that takes hours of preparation. A sheet of paper with directions on who goes where and when guides the students through the evening.

But their transitions won’t distract you. You will be too busy singing along to the traditional Christmas Carols yourself when the time comes. “It’s great for the audience, because not only do they get to listen to a wonderful performance, they get to join in!” said Brubaker.

So gather up your holiday spirit, take a break from studying and come enjoy this celebration!