A Hope College tradition for more than 60 years, more than 500 student musicians perform each year.
Hope College Christmas Vespers, airing Monday, December 23 at 12 p.m. on Classical 91.5, features Hope's Chapel Choir, College Chorus, and Symphonette, as well as organists, the flute choir and brass ensemble.
Thousands of members of the Holland and Hope communities gather for the services each year. Christmas Vespers was first held on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, at 4 p.m. The timing was fateful--the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor only hours before, precipitating the entry of the United States into World War II.
The program was sponsored, the "Anchor" noted at the time, by the college's Musical Arts club as the first of a series "designed to give music students of Hope an opportunity to perform in public and to bring to public attention the work of the music school." Approximately 500 attended, the "Holland Evening Sentinel" reported afterward.