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Sage Chapel Christmas Vespers concert.

Lessons and carols in Sage Chapel Dec. 3 and 4

Sage Chapel Christmas Vespers, an annual tradition at Cornell, returns with two programs, Sunday and Monday, Dec. 3 and 4, at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 6:45 p.m. Free and open to the public; first come, first seated.

The traditional Lessons and Carols service features the Cornell Chorus and Glee Club under the direction of Robert Isaacs, University Organist Annette Richards and readings by members of the Cornell community. Audience participation is welcome on Christmas hymns, including “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Joy to the World,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” and “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”

Musical selections include Thomas Tallis’ “O Nata Lux,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Almighty Father,” Benjamin Britten’s “In the Bleak Mid-Winter,” Josquin Des Prez’s “Benedicta Es,” John Rutter’s arrangement of the Wexford Carol, David Willcocks’ arrangement of “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day” and a piece by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir.

The Department of Music also presents the Cornell Chorale and Cornell Symphony Orchestra in concert performing Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. in Sage Chapel. (Historical note: The work, consisting of 12 movements based on the text of the hymn “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” was likely composed for students at the Ospedale della Pietà, the Venetian orphanage where Vivaldi taught.)

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Lindsey Hadlock