LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Emmy-nominated 2003 Bucknell Candlelight Christmas Service will air on local PBS stations during this holiday season:

• WITF-TV: Thursday, Dec. 21, 9 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 22, 2 a.m.; Sunday, Dec. 24, 2 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 25, 5 a.m.

• WVIA-TV: Sunday, Dec. 24, 4 p.m.; Monday, Dec. 25, 10 p.m.

Air times may be subject to change. Viewers should check local listings.

Set in Rooke Chapel, the program features the Rooke Chapel Choir and the Rooke Chapel Ringers under the direction of William Payn, director of choral studies at Bucknell. Also participating are an organist, flutist, harpist, violoncellist, oboist, and student percussionists.

A Bucknell Candlelight Christmas opens with the traditional procession, the song "Once in Royal David's City," and familiar carols including "Sing We Now of Christmas," "Still, Still, Still," "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Silent Night," sung by the 37-member Rooke Chapel Choir. The 13-member Rooke Chapel Ringers use traditional English handbells to perform a wide variety of sacred and secular music. The program closes with a traditional ringing-in of Christmas and the candlelit recession.
 
The interdenominational service was begun in 1964 by the late William McRae, founder of the Rooke Chapel Choir and Bucknell professor emeritus of music. The choir and bell ringers represent major fields of study at Bucknell.

The Rooke Chapel Choir has gained international recognition for its creative interpretations of some of the most significant sacred repertory from the past five centuries. 

The Rooke Chapel Ringers were organized in 1983 by Payn. Since its founding, the bell choir has participated in festivals in New York City and overseas in Wales, England, West Germany and Switzerland.

The 1995 Candlelight production also was nominated for an Emmy in 1996. Each year, the Bucknell Candlelight Christmas program is aired by PBS stations throughout the United States. Viewers should check local listings.

Posted Dec. 18, 2006

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