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Christmas First Night: A Gift for the Soul.

The South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University is proud to launch the Christmas season this year with a special online celebration of Christmas First Night: A Gift for the Soul.

Christmas First Night features ensemble and solo performances from the Music students of the South Carolina School of the Arts. Along with performances of seasonal sacred and secular music, A Gift for the Soul includes the traditional presentation of the scriptural Christmas Story.

The program premieres on the Anderson University website on December 1, 2020 and will be available for a limited time.

Filmed in various locations on the Anderson University campus, Christmas First Night: A Gift for the Soul includes performances by the university’s choral, instrumental, and contemporary ensembles, along with featured solo performers from each area.

This unique online event was produced while carefully following Journey Ahead protocols. The South Carolina School of the Arts wishes to thank the Anderson University Marketing and Communications team who worked tirelessly to help carefully craft this Christmas celebration.

Read more about this exciting event

Christmas First Night

Christmas First Night Offering

As a part of our annual First Night Celebration, Anderson University receives an offering to assist with a University or community need. This year we will be accepting donations to benefit the AU Student Emergency Fund. This fund was created to have resources available to assist students who found themselves in need of financial assistance due to unexpected dire circumstances. Your support of the fund will allow us to continue to help our students through these financial challenges. Thank you for your support.


Christmas First Night Program



Fantasia on Greensleeves by Ralph Vaughan Williams
AU String Ensemble
Joanna Mulfinger, director

Angels, from the Realms of Glory” arr. Eddie Fargason 
AU Brass Quintet
Stephen Wilson, director

O Come, All Ye Faithful” arr. David Willcocks
AU Concert Choir
Richard A. Williamson, director

Joy to the World, arr. Joel Raney
Jessica Andress (organ) and Sarah Rochester (piano)

Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney
​​​​​​​Derick Cordoba, director

I’ll be home for Christmas” by Gannon, Ram, and Kent
Ashlynn Costa and AU Faculty Jazz Trio

A Big Band Christmas II” by Carl Strommen
AU Jazz Ensemble
Stephen Wilson, director

Light of the World” by Daigle, Duncan, and Mabury
AU Worship Band
Joe Wehunt, director

Night of Silence” by Daniel Kantor
AU Choir
Christopher Hansen, director

The AU Student Emergency Fund
Wes Brashier
Vice President for Christian Life

Wexford Carol” arr. Dawn Willis
AU Women’s Choir
Deirdre Francis, director

The Christmas Story (Luke 2:1-20)
Rev. Dr. James Noble
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

O Holy Night” by Adolphe Adam 
Griffin Lewis (baritone) and Jessica Andress (organ)

Closing Words
“Hallelujah” from Messiah by George Frederick Handel

Combined Choirs and Orchestra at Christmas First Night
​​​​​​​Christopher Hansen, conductor

All numbers presented in this program were recorded using approved COVID-19 protocols and PPE. In some cases, audio and video were captured separately using precautions appropriate to each.


Christmas First Night Credits


Voiceover Artist
Lydia Seremba
AU String Ensemble
Joanna Mulfinger, conductor
Violin 1
Kendra Hamilton (soloist)
Adam Jobson (soloist)
Savanna Moore
Addison Holmes
Violin 2
Breanne Beeler
Ashleigh Smith
Natalie Rutledge
Sally Jolly
Cade Craig
Violin 3
Sophie Kiser
Carly Wilder
Katie Landry
Luis Martinez
Stonewall Pent (soloist)
Morgan McKinnon
Naomi Woodbury
Seth Genatt
Hunter Norman
Jacob Samuelson
Amanda Bateman (soloist)
AU Brass Quintet
Steve Wilson, director
Maxwell Kinard - Trumpet 
Colman Grimes - Trumpet 
Laura Carpenter - Horn 
Britt Callahan - Trombone 
Jose Maduro - Tuba 
Anderson University Concert Choir
Richard A. Williamson, director
Cynthia Forbes, accompanist
Ronnie Davis, organist
Leah Annis
Hannah Byrne
Angelina Chisholm
Ashlynn Costa
Anna Crump
Alex Cushman
Alison Duffy
Mikah Dunn
Maggie Fowler
Coleman Grimes
Hannah Grubbs
Kaitlyn Hamilton
Joe Harder
Brady Henderson
Braxton Horn
Chandler Hughes
Demetria Hunt
Georgie Kelley
Meghan Kirkland
Jacob Lenz
Griffin Lewis
Joel McCann
Savanna Moore
Cason Pyrtle
Makaria Sanders
Will Sharpe
Luke Smith
Olivia Stepp
Sarah Velkovich
“Joy to the World”
Jessica Andress, organ
Sarah Rochester, piano
Derick Cordoba, director 
Georgie Kelley – Vocal 
Caitlyn Burger – Vocal 
Kyra Morgan – Vocal 
Max Milian – Vocal, Piano, and Arranger 
Sincere Hatten – Saxophone 
Michael Ford – Guitar 
Otis Todd – Bass 
Ethan Houseman – Drum Set
Joel McCann – Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Engineer
AU Commercial Music Ensemble
Derick Cordoba, director 
Ashlynn Costa – Vocal Soloist 
Derick Cordoba – Guitar 
Greg Alewine – Upright Bass 
Tim Blackwell – Drum Set 
Derick Cordoba – Recording, Mixing and Mastering Engineer 
AU Jazz Ensemble
Steve Wilson, director
Sincere Hatten – Alto Saxophone 
Douglas Lofton – Alto Saxophone 
William Perrini – Tenor Saxophone 
Micah Trotter – Tenor Saxophone 
Mabry Smith – Baritone Saxophone 
Maxwell Kinard – Trumpet 
Coleman Grimes – Trumpet (soloist)
Laura Carpenter – Trumpet/Horn 
Chris Imhoff – Trumpet 
Soloman Wilkins – Trombone 
Britt Callahan – Trombone 
Evan Cathcart – Trombone 
Hayden Stellges – Bass Trombone 
Carter Cothran – Tuba 
Max Milian – Keyboards (soloist)
Michael Ford – Guitar 
Jacob Samuelson – Bass 
Ethan Houseman – Drums 
AU Worship Band
Joe Wehunt, director
Demetria Hunt: Lead Vocals
Cam Owens-Hunter: Vocals
Angelina Chisholm: Vocals
Jebediah Mascorro: Electric Guitar 1
Ian Morel: Electric Guitar 2
Haleigh Shacklelford: Keys
Levi Summey - Keys
Savanna Moore: Acoustic Guitar
Ben Smith: Bass
Matt Howard: Drums
Anderson University Choir
Christopher Hansen, director
Janice Wright, pianist
Adam Joseph Arsi
Christina Hope Boothe
Adam Nicholas Boyce
Robert Liam Brenzel
Nathanael Robert Browne
Robert Warren Bryant
Calah Bethany Burdette
Caitlyn M Burger
Joseph Harold Carlisle
Hannah Alexandra Clark
Lydia Clark
William Bennett Clark
Abigail Lynn Covert
Alexandre Cox-Ashwood
Hannah Renee Dillard
Anna Elizabeth Dunn
Abigail Kate Dunson
Michael Ray Fletcher
Carlie Brooke Frederiksen
Samuel John Frick
Seth Benjamin Furr
Emma Margaret Gambrell
Hollyann Louisa Gardner
Nelson Ronald Gibson
Easton Michael Gowan
Meridith Olivia Gray
Thomas Richard Greene
Garrett David Grounds
Kendall Renee Guntner
Cassidy J Hall
Kendra Ann Hamilton
Lucas Alexander Henderson
Mhairi Henderson
Baylee Alexis Holder
Emily Kristen Jones
Grayson Lynn Kirkland
Macy Elizabeth Koppe
Elizabeth Ann LaPolt
Abigail Grace Larsen
Beall Elizabeth Looney
Sophia Grace Lynch
Ashleigh Grace Martin
Stelan Alexander Martin
Lauren Elizabeth McCann
Lindy Kate Mccloy
Karissa Jenae McKnight
Ian Luke Morel
Kyra Allaura Morgan
Hannah A Miller
Haven Rene Miller
Anderson University Choir (Cont'd)
Madeline Kristine Moseley
Shelby McKay Parker
Samuel Joseph Perry
Joshua James Potenberg
Jacin Holland Prevatte
Lindsie Anne Randlett
Brianna Christine Ricks
Jenna Jean Ritchey
Kathleen Rose Routszong
Tiffany Elizabeth Russell
Ansley Grace Sanders
Caroline Louise Sanders
Emma Grace Schmid
Lydia Muyinza Seremba
Nicholas Price Shelley
Benjamin H Smith
Levi Cole Summey
Noah Chandler Thomas
Nathan Daniel Trementozzi
Emma Grace Turner
John Marvin Verzwyvelt
Caroline Emily Visbisky
Roxanne Elizabeth Vogel
Nathan Daniel Wachsmuth
Mary Grace Whitlock
Adeline M Wiggins
Amanda Cheyenne Williams
Katherine Joy Worrell
Lily Ann Wyatt
​​​​​​​AU Women’s Choir
Deirdre Welborn Francis, conductor
Janice Wright, piano
Charlotte Tanner, flute
Jessica Andress
Maria Boutin
Mabry Boyle (soloist)
Makenna Boyle
Kara Joy Bragg
Lucy Burnett
Catie Coefield
Zoe Dubiski
Alyssa Gaines
Areànna Kroll
Ralyn Ligon
Bekah McCallum
Blythe Nicholson
Jacin Prevatte
MaCayla Ratcliffe
Maggie Smith
Tailor Vaughn
Hanna Ward
Carly Wilder
Mary Beth Winckler
O Holy Night
Griffin Lewis, soloist
Jessica Andress, organ
Production Staff
Video (Henderson) 
Video Director
Grace Ann Vargo
Camera Operators
Sarah-Beth Arnold
Larisa Crowder
Alex Davis
Benjamin Despres
Zoe Dubiski
Jacob King
Jeremy Thompson
Video Editors
Sarah-Beth Arnold
Benjamin Despres
Jeremy Thompson
Grace Ann Vargo
Video (Rainey House) 
Video Director
Calvin Bowman
Audio Director
Cory Rutledge
Audio Tech
Spencer Dempsey
Broadcast Audio Mixing and Mastering
Joe Wehunt
Studio Assistants
Alaska Cupo
Ethan Houseman
Sydney Anderson
Chandler Hughes
Lighting and Scenery
Lighting Director
Cara Wood
Lighting Techs
James Glymph
Jenna Grigsby
Caleb Madden
Recording Supervisor
Joe Wehunt
Post Production
Andrew Beckner
Calvin Bowman
Technical Staff
Technical Director
Cory Rutledge
Tech Crew
Josh Allgood
Demetria Hunt
Macy Koppe
Savanna Moore
Richard A. Williamson

Music Permissions
“Fantasia on Greensleeves” by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), adapted from the opera 'Sir John in Love' and arranged by Ralph Greaves © Oxford University Press
1934 and 1969. Licensed by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
“Angels, From the Realms of Glory”
Writer Credits: Eddie Fargason
Copyright: © 1989 Word Music, LLC (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved.  Used by permission.
“O come all ye faithful” arranged by David Willcocks © Oxford University Press 1961.
Licensed by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Joy to the World arranged by Joel Raney
© 2001 Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Reprinted under license #PS090920-1
"Wonderful Christmastime" by Paul McCartney
Used by permission of MPL Communications, Inc.
"I’ll be home for Christmas" by Gannon, Ram, and Kent
Used by permission of Piedmont Music Co. and Gannon & Kent Music Co.
"A Big Band Christmas II" by Carl Strommen
Arrangement Copyright © 2000 Western Music Publishing Co., Haven Gillespie Music, EMI Fest Catalog  Inc., and Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp.
“Auld Lang Syne” used by permission of Alfred Music.
“Here Comes Santa Claus” used by permission of Warner Chappell Music.
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” used by permission of Wixen Music Publishing and Haven Gillespie Music Publishing Co., LP.
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” used by permission of Sony ATV.
“Light of the World” by Daigle, Duncan, and Mabury
CCLI Streaming License #CSPL083152
“Night of Silence” by Daniel Kantor
Copyright © 1984 GIA Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
“Wexford Carol” arranged by Dawn Willis.  Used by Permission.



The Journey Ahead is just getting started.

The Journey Ahead, Anderson University’s “stronger together” approach to reopening campus, is being developed by the COVID-19 Task Force and its working groups. Its protocols are based on the recommendation of public health experts and rely heavily on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). 

Additional protocols are currently being developed. Please visit The Journey Ahead for regular updates. Please visit often for the latest information and guidelines, which are subject to change.