The Christmas carol service at the American College marked the start of yuletide season

The wintry Sunday evening did not deter the congregation from listening to a service of Christmas readings and carols at the Jubilee Chapel of The American College. The green campus looked bright with festoons and stars hanging from the trees.

Inside the chapel, everybody could feel the emotive power of music as choristers brightened the evening with their full-throated singing.

“It is a tradition we follow for more than 80 years,” says Davamani Christober, Principal and Secretary of The American College. “The standard set by the missionaries is maintained without any compromise,” he says.

The programme started with the song “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, about angels announcing the birth of Christ to the world. Interspersed with prayers, sermons and readings from the Bible, the event emphasised the need to spread the message of love.

Choir director G. Sahayam George did his job to perfection. He is the great grandson of popular lyricist C.P. Gnanamani, who wrote the chartbuster of yesteryears “Anbe pradhanam…” from the album Aseervatham.

While the Tamil songs were taken from different collections, the English songs were taken from the works of Caleb Simper, the English organist and composer of choral music.

The chapel auditorium reverberated with the voice of Sherin, M.Phil. Physics. She sang the solo “O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining”. There was also a children’s choir.

“This is the first time a full-fledged children’s choir sang at the carol service,” says Davamani Christober. “Even the musical instruments are played by children and all of them are wards of our staff members,” he says.

Rev. Dr. J. Thassayan, secretary, CSI Diocese of Madurai and Ramnad, delivered the sermon of the evening, highlighting the importance of sharing.

Rajkumar Julian, a non-teaching staff member, composed music for the children’s choir. P. Richard Rajkumar was the children’s choir director.

Keywords: Christmas carol