University Celebrates the Season with Variety of Special Events

The Tinikling Dance Group demonstrates a Philippine tradition during "Light the Night" in 2014. 

Nov. 19, 2015 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –Illinois Wesleyan University will mark the season with a number of events including the much-anticipated annual Christmas Choral Concert and the popular “Light the Night” event celebrating religions and traditions from around the world.

December kick offs with the Hanukkah Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Center’s Turfler Room. The event, presented by the IWU Hillel, seeks to share the stories and traditions behind the Jewish holiday, as well as provide IWU students and staff of the Jewish faith the opportunity to celebrate Hanukkah on campus.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, the Dean of Students Office is sponsoring a “Wrapping It Up” event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Dugout. Students can wrap gifts, make cards, and do winter crafts.

The Black Student Union will sponsor a Kwanzaa Dinner on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Center Turfler Room. The event celebrates “The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa,” which are self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.

wrap party
Jennifer Carter '17 at the Wrapping it Up event in December 2014. 

On Thursday, Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. in Evelyn Chapel, the fourth annual “Light the Night” celebration will be held for IWU students and the Bloomington-Normal community.  Campus faith groups such as Titan Catholic, IWU Hillel, Secular Student Alliance, Spanish and Latino Student Association, South Asian Student Association, Multifaith Ambassadors, IWU Interfaith, and Death, Resurrection, Life will participate and share their stories, songs, and beliefs regarding their own and one another’s religions and traditions in a multicultural celebration of the season of light. Music and dance performances will be provided by the student groups Touch of Class, silenceinterrupted, Suspended, and the Tinikling Dance Group, as well as a special performance of Bela Musana/Be the Light from the hit musical “Witness Uganda.” After the performance, join in sampling global holiday foods in the Joslin Atrium.

A Holiday Caroling Party will begin at Evelyn Chapel on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4 p.m. Attendees will enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as they practice simple carols before performing those later that evening at an area facility for the aged.

The School of Music’s J. Scott Ferguson, professor of music and director of choral activities, invites the community to welcome the holiday season with an afternoon of choral music on Sunday, Dec. 6. The annual Christmas Choral Concert will feature the Illinois Wesleyan Collegiate Choir, University Choir, and Chamber Singers in a concert at Holy Trinity Church, 704 N. Main St., Bloomington. These groups will be joined by the Lincoln-Way East High School Chorale, conducted by Matthew Granger.  The 3 p.m. performance will include compositions by Mouton, Sweelinck, Holst, Pärt, Sisask, Fissinger, Lawson, Gjeilo, Owolabi, Chilcott and others. Suggested donations for the performance are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and IWU alumni, and $2 for high school and college students.

By Emily Phelps ’19