by Kristen Farley
‘Tis the season once more, and the upcoming Travis Cottrell Christmas concert on Dec. 9 and 10, featuring some of Cedarville’s finest, is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
The First Baptist Church of Kettering will be hosting a Christmas Celebration concert, featuring Dove Award-winning artist Travis Cottrell and his equally notable band.
Cedarville’s Concert Chorale and Men’s Glee Club had previously collaborated with the church for the retirement tour for Christian singer Sandi Patty.
Dr. Lyle Anderson, who conducts the Concert Chorale and Men’s Glee Club, looks forward to the joint venture.
“We’re humbled to have this opportunity, we are thankful for the trust that Mr. Larry Nichols, (FBK’s worship pastor), has invested in us to call on us to do a second collaborative adventure such as this,” Anderson said. “We’re anxious to participate, not just because Travis has a well-recognized history in gospel music … but in fact, because it is a wonderful gospel presentation musically, and it just gives the message out in a very clear fashion.”
Student singers will be joining the FBK choir to provide nearly 100 voices to sing backup for the concert. Professor Carlos Elias, director of Cedarville University’s Orchestra, will also be directing for FBK’s church orchestra, and several Cedarville students will be performing in that capacity as well.
The student choir members have more than one reason to celebrate at the Christmas concert. Besides having Christ as the reason-for-the-season, students will be singing from an easier music selection than the recent Reformation Day celebration repertoire.
Lauren Fox, a sophomore music education major and chorale member, is among the joyful and triumphant.
“It’s like a worship Christmas. Not just, ‘Yay! Christmas!’, but ‘This is why we do Christmas,’” Fox said. “It’s kind of humbling, I guess, to be able to be like ‘Yeah, I got the notes the first read-through,’ but you have more of an opportunity to put more emotion into it and to think about what you’re saying.”
The songs were chosen from several of Cottrell’s popular productions, such as “Christmas is Real,” “Christmas makes Everything New,” “Believe in Christmas,” and “All That Is Within Me.” The selection of 11 songs were either written or arranged by the Dove award-winning team of David Moffitt, Sue C. Smith and Cottrell, and includes a mix of familiar Christmas carols, as well as some original compositions.
According to Anderson, the First Baptist Church of Kettering is hoping to make the concert more than just a Christmas celebration. This a Christmas outreach, and the gospel will be presented throughout the concert.
“The incarnation, the prophecy leading up to the incarnation, and of course, leading up to the very end, one of (Cottrell’s) most famous pieces is “Jesus Saves” . . . People won’t be able to miss the fact that this is the gospel, spelled in all capital letters.”
The event will be held at the First Baptist Church of Kettering on Dec. 9 and 10 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Kristen Farley is a sophomore early education major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. She enjoys accents, books, people, and life in general.