The South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University is getting ready to kick off the Christmas season this year with Christmas First Night, Friday, December 2, 7 p.m. in the Henderson Auditorium of the Rainey Fine Arts Center.
Dr. David Larson, Dean of the South Carolina School of the Arts, is delighted at the return of Christmas First Night, a rich and longtime Anderson University tradition, last performed live before an audience in 2019. In 2020, Christmas First Night went virtual, due to the pandemic, with a pre-produced video showcase of South Carolina School of the Arts’ talented students. According to Dr. Larson, as pandemic restrictions partially lifted in 2021, they were able to organize a Thanksgiving service with limited seating.
Dr. Larson looks forward to inviting the community out for the return of Christmas First Night—a memorable evening of music and inspiration inside the beautifully renovated Henderson Auditorium.
Christmas First Night’ features ensemble and solo performances from music students of the South Carolina School of the Arts. Along with performances of seasonal sacred and secular music, Christmas First Night includes the traditional presentation of the scriptural Christmas Story. Performing will be the Anderson University Orchestra, composed of instrumentalists that include the brass, wood and string ensembles; the University Jazz band; the Anderson University Choirs; the Anderson University Gospel Ensemble; String Ensemble; and the Commercial Music ensemble AUthenticity.
A speaker from the College of Christian Studies will give an inspirational Christmas message. Also, another Christmas First Night tradition that’s returning is the traditional lighting of the Yule Log, a time-honored Anderson tradition, featuring Dr. and Mrs. Whitaker sharing the ancient story of the Yule Log. The Yule Log ceremony is a memorable time of reflection as the audience gathers around the Yule Log fire.
Though Christmas First Night is free, the public is encouraged to obtain tickets through the Rainey Fine Arts Center box office. Tickets are available both at the box office and online. For details, call the box office at 864-231-2080.