OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Christmas season brings with it many traditions at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).
OC will host the ninth-annual Lighting of the Commons on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The event will begin at 6 p.m. in the Gaylord University Center.
Santa Claus will make an appearance for photos with children and families. Hot cocoa and special edition mugs will be available for purchase. Other activities include free sleigh rides, a Christmas train and performances by the Wings Bell Choir. There also will be a short fireworks display on Lawson Commons following the debut of this year’s Christmas lights across campus.
Soundings, OC’s nationally recognized literary and visual arts journal, will feature a Christmas Market in the nearby McGraw Pavilion. Students, campus organizations and local shops will host nearly 20 booths selling a variety of Christmas gifts, ornaments and decorations. Products such as knitted goods, jewelry, photography prints and homemade baked goods will be available.
Booth highlights include the Society of Women Engineers, who will sell 3D printed ornaments, and Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society, selling “Dates with a Book.” Each book is wrapped and has only a few descriptive words written on the outside. Customers will choose a book at random and expand their reading interests by trying a new style or genre.
The holiday festivities will continue on Thursday, Dec. 1 with the 40th-annual Cocoa and Carols. The performance will begin at 7 p.m. in Hardeman Auditorium.
The evening will open with the traditional processional “Personent Hodie,” a 14th-century carol, performed by the University Chorale and Orchestra. The program will continue with a set of Christmas carols by more than 200 students and faculty from OC’s Department of Music.
Dr. John Fletcher, Professor of Music and Symphonic Band conductor, says the 40-year tradition of Cocoa and Carols began with now-retired music professor Dr. Ken Adams.
“We referred to the program as our ‘Christmas Card’ to the campus and community,” Dr. Fletcher said. “It’s evolved substantially through the years, but remains a labor of love for everyone in the Music Department.”
Complimentary hot cocoa and cider will be served in McIntosh Conservatory during intermission, with seasonal music provided by the Chamber Orchestra. Following intermission, the program will continue with music provided by the Chorale, Chamber Singers, Chamber Orchestra and Collegiate Choir.
The event includes holiday favorites such as “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Silver Bells,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and many more.
Both events are free and open to the public. For more information about Cocoa and Carols, call (405) 425-5530. Questions about the Lighting of the Commons can be directed to OC’s Office of Events at (405) 425-6300.