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Festival of Lights Concert Featured on MPB

MC Singers
MC Singers

Mississippi College’s Festival of Lights concerts will be showcased before statewide television audiences starting December 19.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting stations will feature highlights of Festival of Lights programs between 2016 and 2019. The show is titled “The Festival of Lights Retrospective.”

The 2020 MPB production represents a collection of the best performances from the past four concerts at historic Provine Chapel. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of this year’s Festival of Lights on the Clinton campus. Every year, this award-winning MC Singers concludes the concert by leaving a darkened chapel with candles while singing “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”

Music professor Mark Nabholz, who serves as the conductor of the MC Singers, assisted with the MPB production. The MC Singers have entertained audiences at New York City’s famed Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center over the years. The Singers have performed in concert halls across Europe and South Africa.

The Festival of Lights production will air at 7 p.m. December 19 on MPB television stations, including Jackson, as well as MPB Think Radio.

Encore broadcasts will be 4 p.m. on December 20, at 10 p.m. on December 24, and at 1 p.m. on Christmas Day.

The Festival of Lights began at Mississippi College in December 1986. Taiwo Gaynor and Zeke Brandy are the MPB producers for the 2020 show.

“I’m thankful that our friends at MPB value what we do and wanted to continue in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Nabholz said. The newest version of the broadcast will run 90 minutes instead of an hour, as was the case in recent years.

As a result, “there will be even more of the wonderful Christmas music that has made the Festival of Lights a favorite of viewers around the state,” Nabholz said.

MC Music Department Chair Angela Willoughby is thrilled to see MPB bring the Festival of Lights to statewide TV audiences once again. “Even in a year when it wasn’t possible to perform, MPB has made it possible for us to continue our tradition of sharing the Festival of Lights with our community.”

Willoughby appreciates the hard work by a talented MPB staff to make the 2020 production a reality. “Many thanks to the inspired leadership and production team at MPB!”

One of the Christian university’s signature events, the Festival of Lights, tells the Christmas story to welcome the holiday season.

Audiences, including those from outside the Magnolia State, can see the broadcast at at the same time televised premiere on MPB stations.