Lessons and Carols special debuts Dec. 6

Lessons and Carols special debuts Dec. 6

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2020

The filming of this year's Lessons and Carols

For almost 20 years, the college has presented a special Christmas gift to the community – the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, featuring music and Scriptures about the Nativity. 

That custom will continue this year, thanks to the herculean efforts of students and faculty in the Music and Digital Creative Media and Film programs. 

“We didn’t want the pandemic to cause us to lose this cherished tradition, so we began reimagining how we could present this service in an era where live performances of this scale are not possible,” said Dr. Toni Anderson, Coordinator of the Music program. “Thanks to my amazing colleagues, we were able to meet this challenge with a truly spectacular production.” 

More than 60 people contributed to the final video product – students in Music, DCMF, Musical Theatre and Theatre Arts – as well as faculty, staff and guest artists. The event will premiere at 7 p.m. Dec. 6 on the college’s YouTube channel and appear on LGTV (LaGrange Government channel on Charter Cable), and Eagle’s Nest Radio 102.3. 

The work began in the summer, when musical rehearsal tracks were sent to students in advance so everyone could hit the ground running when classes began.  

As soon as students returned to campus, they went into the recording studio, four at a time. 

“They each sang their parts that were recorded by our chief recording engineer Paul Hammock. He stitched those individual recordings together, layering each individual recording like a cake to create the final recording,” said Dr. Mitch Turner, Professor of Music. 

Hammock said the multi-room studio was used to its fullest potential. 

“This project would not have been possible without the state-of-the-art facility here at West Side,” he said.  

Both isolation booths and the main recording space were used to keep singers as safe as possible. For some songs, a quartet recorded an example rehearsal track for the musicians. 

Many of the singers had never recorded in a studio setting before, said Dr. Samuel Miller, Director of Choral Activities, who served as musical director for the project.  

“All of our students really stepped up during this project, and they did really well,” he said. 

After all the music was recorded, the audio files were turned over to Assistant Audio Engineer Jason Hernandez ’19, who created the final mix for each song. He then handed them off to Yson DeBlois, the new video-film professor in DCMF. 

“She has been a godsend,” Dr. Turner said. “She was asked to begin production at full speed. She has captured beautiful videos to complement our incredible audio recordings.” 

DeBlois often had to use multiple camera angles – from close-ups to medium shots to more distant establishing shots. For example, she shot more than 20 different set-ups for “Angels,” a piece that used many orchestral instruments.  

Although the project was massive, DeBlois was impressed with the collaboration between the two departments and the high level of professionalism of the students. 

“We wanted to use this production as an opportunity not only to capture the immense talent of our students and faculty, but also to showcase some of the beautiful locations on campus,” she said. “The musical performances were filmed in Beason Recital Hall and Callaway Auditorium in front of a magnificent Christmas display.” 

Sunny Gables Alumni House and the Chapel were used as backgrounds for recording the lessons. 

Once principal photography wrapped, the post-production process began. After finished sound and image tracks were individually completed, they were re-linked. 

“This professional quality virtual Lessons and Carols performance will be available to the public – both in its full, hour-long form and in individual pieces,” DeBlois said. “These will be provided to Methodist congregations across the region for their virtual worship services over the holidays.” 

Ken Passmore, Director of the Percussion Ensemble, was especially appreciative of his collaboration with former student Hernandez. 

“I was working on an arrangement of ‘Carol of the Bells’ and I wasn’t quite satisfied with the result,” he said. “I turned it over to Jason and he sprinkled some of his magic into it to create the final product.” 

Hernandez contributed to recording, producing, arranging and engineering the musical selections. 

The work on this project is exactly what I trained to do as a music major at LaGrange,” he said. “I could not have asked for a better opportunity to give back to my alma mater and help produce an event that holds such meaning for our campus and community.” 

All told, the piano, strings, bass and percussion recordings took more than 30 hours; the choir logged well over 100 hours and the solos were around 10 hours. More than 150 hours were spent on filming and editing. 

After months of work, Dr. Turner is excited to share the experience with viewers. 

“I can say without a doubt that Lessons and Carols 2020 is the best program I’ve helped create in my 19 years at LaGrange College,” he said. “I couldn’t be prouder of everyone who contributed to this project. 

Campus notes  

NATS-winners.JPGLC voice students continued their winning streak this year at the Georgia National Association of Teachers of Singing student auditions. The 2020 winners, including 17 singers from the studios of Dr. Toni Anderson and Dr. Andrea Mueller Jarmon, participated in the competition that was held virtually Nov. 2-11. Students from colleges and private studios across Georgia competed in the event. Andrew Harry and Ken Passmore were collaborative artists.  LC honorees included Erika Hill, state winner, freshmen women (musical theatre); Erielle Robinson, state winner, sophomore women (musical theatre); Jared McGregor, third place, sophomore men (musical theatre); Dean Kivotidis, third place, junior men, (musical theatre); Joely Peterman, state winner, and Jaylynn Mangual, second place, senior women (musical theatre); Landon Bell, state winner, Kyle Hildebrand, second place and Malcolm Stephen, third place, senior men (musical theatre); Joely Peterman, first place, senior women (classical), and Kyle Hildebrand, second place, senior men (classical). The state winners are featured on a Virtual Winners recital . 

President Susanna Baxter is featured in the current Troup Trends magazine published by the LaGrange Troup County Chamber of Commerce. She is spotlighted in a story about female leaders. susanna-troup-trends.JPG

Lewis Library has announced extended hours for finals. The library will be open today (Friday) 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 3-10 p.m.; Monday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tuesday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Wednesday, 8 a.m.-noon. The library will be closed Nov. 26-30. 

Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political Science, presented Do Pandemics Lead to More Authoritarianism at the virtual conference of the Georgia Political Science Association on Nov. 12. Research and presentation were conducted by students Andrew Valbuena, Caleb Tyler, Taren McGhee, Olivia Hanners, Casey Evans, Kristina Calixto, Maalik Baisden and Damir Rosencrants. They examined whether countries became more or less democratic during the Spanish Flu, as well as during pandemics in 1957-58, 1968-69 and during COVID-19 

There will be no @lagrange next week because of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 


Cultural Enrichment events 

Check LC Connect for Virtual CE events and instructions. For in-person events, all COVID guidelines apply.  


Young Alumni Interview Series: Kassie Dismukes ’19 

  • VirtualDismukes is a former Exercise Science student, Presidential Student Ambassador and a member of Kappa Delta. She is an Occupational Therapy student at The University of Alabama-Birmingham. 

Young Alumni Interview Series: Jake Odom ’19 

  • Virtual: Odom is a former Biology student, baseball player and a member of the Orientation team. He is a physical therapy student at Brenau University. 
  • Virtual: Basics of interviewing 

               Gain a basic understanding of the interviewing process and learn some fundamental strategies for a successful interview. 

  • VirtualAdvanced interview techniques 

              Did you have a successful initial interview? Build on a successful initial interview and learn how to respond to advanced interview questions. 



LaGrange College has been named NCAA Division III College of the Month by the world's largest and most successful college athletic recruiting network, Next College Student Athlete. 


Epic games: Madison Barker of Women’s Basketball scores the game-winner in 57-56 win over Piedmont. 

Faculty and staff December birthdays 

2 – Dean Hartman 

3 – Amanda Plumlee 

6 – Cynthia Mayfield 

7 – Elizabeth Appleby 

9 – Gina Thompson 

17 – David Kelton 

19 – Debby Baker 

20 – Vicki Pheil 

25 – Brandon Sewell 

29 – Janet Hughes 

30 – Dale Creamer 

31 – Michael Anderson 

Michele Raphoon 

Video of the Week 

Lauren Hicks, a Performing Arts major, previews one of the songs that will be in the one-hour special, Service of Nine Lessons and Carols,” premiering Dec. 6 on YouTube, cable and broadcast. Look for it. 


Category: Students, College, Arts and Culture, Events, Community, Faculty, Academics

Keywords: lessons carols Christmas video

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 11/20/2020