The end of the fall semester is always such a wonderful time on the campus of Welch College. Of course, it’s a hectic time. Students and faculty prepare for exam time, grading, and the other busyness of the end of the semester. Administrators take care of financial matters, attend the annual SACS convention and Free Will Baptist Leadership Conference, and prepare for and host the semi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees.

The most enjoyable and endearing part of the end of the fall semester, however, is Christmas. I always enjoy the beautiful decorations, the campus Christmas reception and the dinner for the leadership team and board that Melinda and I host, and the faculty and staff Christmas party. This week we even enjoyed students who strolled around the campus and neighborhood caroling. This is all a part of “Christmas on Richland Avenue.”

Yet the premier event on campus during this season goes by that name: Christmas on Richland Avenue. It is the presentation by the Department of Music of the Christmas installment of the Sarah Lacey Nicholas arts series, named after long-time Welch music faculty member Sarah Lacey Nicholas. Each year the Choral Union, comprising students with a few Welch staff and alumni sprinkled among them, under the direction of Mr. Mark Lancaster, performs Christmas on Richland Avenue.

This year the Choral Union presented Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. This was followed by a time of Christmas carols with audience participation, as well as three additional anthems by the Choral Union. One of those anthems was a beautiful arrangement and orchestration of “Silent Night” and “Away in a Manger” by Dr. James M. Stevens, who has served as chairman of the Department of Music for the past eleven years.

To give you a taste of “Christmas on Richland Avenue,” along with warm Christmas wishes from the Welch College family, I’d love for you to watch and listen to “Silent Night Manger Lullaby.”

May Our Lord bless you this Christmas!

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