63rd Feast of Lights shines
More than 3,000 tickets were sold for the University’s annual Feast of Lights in December, marking 63 years of the tradition celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. What started in 1947 in the School of Music has become a campus-wide collaboration and a production known nationwide.
Director Nicholle Andrews said preparations begin long before the event. Choir groups start rehearsing as early as October and the stage creation and assembly took weeks to complete.
“We have a whole team of individuals, from the conductors to the costume design to the stage directors to the Chaplain, who make this happen.”
For the second year, canned food was collected at the event for Family Service Association. More than 1,375 pounds of food were donated, and the collection is likely to remain as part of the event tradition.
Another new element of the tradition this year was the incorporation of a new luminaries display that contained the nativity scene seen in the Feast.
“Many guests wanted to see the scene again, the costumes and we thought of having the display after the end of the show.”
Andrews stressed the involvement of the students, referring to them as the “large driving force behind the success of the event.
“The entire production is student run, with students being involved and wanting to be involved. I have students who come back year after year wanting to be part of this. They are the ones that make this happen. They take great pride in doing what they do.”
Andrews said she has great admiration for the event.
“The only word I can use to describe it is an honor. It’s an incredible honor to be part of this.”
University President George Armacost said in 1968, “This inspired service has been an introduction to the Christmas season for students, faculty and friends of the University for more than 20 years. It is a tradition I hope will endure as long as there is a University of Redlands.”