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Juniata Choir Drums Up Christmas Cheer on National CBS Telecast

(Posted December 6, 2004)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College Concert Choir will perform on national television as part of the "Enter the Light of Life" Christmas Service to be telecast at 11:35 p.m., Friday, Dec. 24 on CBS in the time slot normally taken by "Late Night" with David Letterman.

The hour-long program will air locally on WTAJ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Altoona, Pa. Each year, the network's Christmas Eve service is created by a different Christian denomination. This year, the service is produced by the Church of the Brethren.

Juniata's 51-member choir, conducted by Russell Shelley, Elma Stine Heckler Associate Professor of Music, will perform "Santo," a movement from a Caribbean mass composed by Glenn McClure, accompanied by steel drum percussion. The choir also sings a Gaelic Christmas carol and participated in five musical performances by other performers and ensembles.

During "Santo," two Juniata College students will sing solos: Brandon Long, a sophomore from Lebanon, Pa.; and Kellyn Zeuner, a sophomore from Fort Washington, Pa., are the featured soloists.


The sermon will be delivered by Christopher D. Bowman, pastor of he Oakton (Va.) Church of the Brethren.

The service, which was taped Nov. 23 at Bethany Theological Seminary, the Church of the Brethren graduate school in Richmond, Ind,, will focus on the story of Jesus' birth as told through the writings of the apostle Luke. The service will include scripture readings, a sermon, hymns and a variety of classic Christmas music performed by an array of musicians from Brethren congregations across the country. The Juniata ensemble is the only college choir to perform at the service.

Juniata College in an independent institution founded by members of the Church of the Brethren in 1876. The Church of the Brethren celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2008 and has about 130,000 members across the United States.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.