KNOXVILLE— The Festival of Christmas Joy was held 7 p.m. Saturday in the Phillips-Welshimer auditorium. The night began with a Johnny Vega hour and concluded in the story of the birth of Jesus.
Audience participation was encouraged throughout the first half of the show as the Johnson University combined choirs sang familiar Christmas tunes. The audience was cued to laugh, applause, and aww throughout the Johnny Vega hour.
Featured songs of the Festival of Christmas Joy included:
“Happy Holidays with the Holiday Season”, “Winter Wonderland”, “The Christmas Song”. “The Christmas Waltz”, “People Look East”, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,”African Noel”, “Silent Night” and more.
Before a brief intermission, there was a time of offering that was dedicated to meet the financial needs of first-generation students.
The second half of the show was narrated by Professor David Wheeler and featured music that told the story of the birth of Jesus.
The night ended with a reflection from President Gary Weedman.
“We want this to be a sacred night to the glory of God,” Weedman said. “We also want it to be a sacred night to say to you, our good friends, through whose support we are able to do this ministry, a big thank you.”
Weedman concluded in a Christmas benediction.
“May you be filled with the wonder of Mary, the obedience of Joseph, the joy of the angels, the eagerness of the shepherds, the determination of the wise men, and the peace of the Christ child, to his glory amen,” Weedman said.
The festival drama ensemble included: Josiah Caraway as William Campbell, Elena Elkins as Sally MacGrady, Jeremiah McClain as Donald Parker, and David Wheeler as Johnny Vega.
Conductors for the night included: Professors Dirk Donahue and Brent Weaver. Accompanists for the night included: Professors Ruth Reyes, Donald Trentham and Brent Weaver.
Instrumentalists for the night included: Chris DeTar, Parker Everett, Natalie Fields, Braden Harris, and Allen Ramsey.
View the livestream recording by clicking the link below.