Portland News

December 17, 2017

Christmas Concert

At the Christmas concert on Sunday evening, December 17, the music department presented a cantata titled, “Light! Out of the Darkness,” with a theme verse from 2 Corinthians 4:6, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Gary Riler directed the program, which included pieces by the combined choirs, orchestra, ensembles, and soloists.

Before the cantata began, the orchestra played a Welsh hymn titled “Rhosymedre” and the Christmastime favorite “A Christmas Festival,” which incorporates several well-known Christmas songs. Finally they played “Tapestry of Carols,” which gave the audience an opportunity to join in singing carols such as “The First Noel” and “O Holy Night.”

The cantata included narration by Yvonne Wilson and Tom Pricskett. They began by explaining the Jesus existed from the beginning, that He is the source of spiritual light, and that His incarnation was the thrilling moment when the Light came to dwell with men. The choir songs recounted His birth, from the anticipation of the “Long-Expected Jesus” to “The Glory Revealed” at His coming. A mixed octet (pictured above) sang a soft song titled “Here With Us,” with Ashley Morgan as soloist singing, “Hallelujah! Heaven’s love reaching down to save the world.” Later, Kristi Riler sang a solo in “Come Hushed to this Holy Place,” imagining what Mary might have been pondering as she saw baby Jesus for the first time.

The orchestra played a stirring number called “Emmanuel Medley,” and then a quartet sang “Manger Far Away Medley” with Jennifer Worthington as soloist. The mood turned celebratory during the song “Ancient Wonder in the Night,” and then the narrators spoke of how the Light of Christ continues on today and will shine forever. Michael McCarville sang the solemn song “In the First Light,” which reminded us that Christ’s birth is celebrated because He later died, but He rose triumphantly with victory over sin, and one day will return to rule the earth. The program closed with a powerful song of praise, “Hallelujah (Light Has Come).”

There were many visitors at the concert this year; enough that the back of the sanctuary was opened to allow more seating. We pray that everyone who came was able to feel the love of Christ and remember that because of His life, we can have Light in our lives.

Watch the full service in the Media Center.

(Mouse over the image below to click through the photo album.)
Portland Christmas Concert 2017