Contact: Roberta Cox

Nov. 12, 2003

Worship Service Begins Christmas Season

DALLAS (SMU) -- The annual Christmas Worship Service of Nine Lessons and Carols will be held in Perkins Chapel on the campus of Southern Methodist University on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 4 and 8 p.m.

The service has been a tradition for more than four decades and signals the beginning of the Christmas season for many in SMU’s community and throughout the Dallas area. There is no charge. For more information, contact Michael Hawn at 214/768-2502 or

This year’s service features the Concert Choir from the Meadows School of the Arts under the direction of Alfred Calabrese, director of choral activities at SMU. The Seminary Singers, a twenty-five voice ensemble from Perkins School of Theology, will also sing under the direction of C. Michael Hawn, associate professor of church music at Perkins School of Theology. Dean William B. Lawrence will preside.

The service of Nine Lessons and Carols retells the story of redemption through Jesus Christ with scripture and song and dates back to a cathedral in Cornwall, England in 1888.

Included in this year’s service is a tribute to Dr. Lloyd Pfautsch (1921-2003) who began the event at SMU in 1959 and continued it until his retirement in 1992. In addition to an Advent anthem written by Dr. Pfautsch, music will also be included by two of Pfautsch’s closest musical colleagues at SMU, Carlton R. Young and Jane Marshall. An anthem dedicated to the Seminary Singers has been written by Ms. Marshall and will be premiered at this service. “The Work of Christmas” (2003) is a setting of a text by Howard Thurman for oboe, guitar and chorus.

Dr. George Baker, associate university organist, will be the service organist. He has recorded the complete works of J.S. Bach and has won several international competitions in organ improvisation.

This Christmas Worship Service will feature the recently renovated Perkins Chapel Chancel Organ. The Aeolian-Skinner Organ Company completed Opus 1167 for Perkins Chapel in 1951. A smaller Gallery Organ was installed in 1997. With the completion of the Perkins Chapel renovation in 1999 through the generosity of Charles and Elisabeth Prothro, the Chancel Organ was also repaired and enhanced through a gift by the Horace C. Cabe Foundation, Lovell W. Baker, and George and Marjorie Baker. Drs. George Baker III and Kenneth W. Hart served as consultants to Marvin Judy, president, Schudi Organ Company of Dallas. The renovated organ was dedicated in the spring of 2000.