PELLA — Central College’s music department will give the gift of entertainment, offering a variety of concerts centered around the upcoming holiday season.

For the 45th year, the Christmas Candlelight Concerts will highlight the month of performances. The annual event kicks off with a concert Thursday, Dec. 12, in Des Moines, with concerts back on campus in Pella on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14.

Under the direction of Mark Babcock, a 1991 Central graduate and the M. Joan Kuyper Farver Endowed Chair in Music and professor of music, the A Cappella Choir and Chambers Singers come together for one of the college’s most cherished traditions. This year’s theme is “Good News of Great Joy!”

The first concert is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4114 Allison Ave., Des Moines. Performances also take place the next two nights, Dec. 13-14, both at 8 p.m. on the Hoekstra Family Stage in Douwstra Auditorium, adding the College Community Orchestra and Handbell Choir.

Tickets for all three Christmas Candlelight Concerts can be purchased at Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and senior citizens and free with a Central ID.

A holiday dinner will be served immediately before the concerts in Pella on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 14, in Vermeer Banquet Room in Graham Conference Center on Central’s campus.

Reservations are required by Dec. 6. Tickets also can be purchased at

Central’s Flying Pans Steel Band will kick off the holiday concerts with a Caribbean Christmas performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Vermeer Banquet Room in Graham Conference Center. Tickets are $5 at the door or free with an unwrapped new toy for Toys for Tots.

The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will hold its concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, in Douwstra Auditorium, performing “Russian Christmas Music” by Alfred Reed. The event is free and open to the public.

The ALMA Christmas concert is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, in the Recital Hall of Cox-Snow Music Center. The jazz concert will include a saxophone performance by guest artist Rusty Johnson, a 2003 Central graduate. All seats are $10 or free with a Central ID.

Additional performances in December are scheduled. “An Evening of Flute and Percussion” is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, featuring the percussion and flute ensembles. The Flute Studio Recital will perform at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the Upper Chapel. Both events are free and open to the public.

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