poster of Festival of Lights

AU’s annual Festival of Lights, featuring three choruses and scripture readings, is Dec. 11

Published on Dec. 02, 2022

ASHLAND, Ohio – The Festival of Lights, a collaboration between the choral music program and the Office of Christian Ministry at Ashland University, will be held the evening of Sunday, Dec. 11, at Jack and Deb Miller Chapel, located at the intersection of King Road and College Ave. The 31st edition of this celebrated event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m.

The Festival of Lights is part worship service with choral selections and part musical performance with scripture readings and prayers. It will feature three choruses—the Ashland University Choir, the AU Chamber Singers and the Ashland Area Chorus—each conducted by Rowland Blackley, professor of music at AU. The organist will be Mary Louise Metcalf, while liturgists include members of AU administration.

This year’s musical selections consist of original works and settings of carols by a variety of composers. The AU Choir will showcase its breadth of offerings with pieces ranging from “Welcome, Yule,” a 15th century carol by C. Hubert H. Parry, to “Amuworo ayi oto nwa (For Unto Us a Child is Born),” a Nigerian carol sung in Igbo, to “Bogoroditse Devo,” a song in praise of the Virgin Mary sung in Slavonic.

There will also be familiar seasonal offerings, including “The Little Drummer Boy,” to be performed by the AU Chamber Singers, and modern-day composer Victor Johnson’s “Run to the Manager,” which incorporates “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” and will be performed by the Ashland Area Chorus. The evening traditionally concludes with a candle-lighting ceremony and “Silent Night.”

For more information, contact Rowland Blackley, director of choral activities and professor of music at Ashland, at 419-289-5114 or

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.