Parents, teachers and students crowded into the sanctuary of St. John the Divine, Dec. 12, for the annual Candlelight Service.
The Candlelight Service features performances by choirs from all levels of the school, as well as the faculty choir and the Upper School Chamber Strings. Before the service began, the Upper School Flute Choir, directed by Ema Armanious, performed selected Christmas carols.
Head of Chapel Guild senior Carson Peacock led the congregation in prayer. Head Prefect Sira Ntagha gave welcoming remarks about the holiday season and its true meaning. Headmaster Mark Desjardins gave his annual speech, in which he noted that while Candlelight usually kickstarts his holiday season, this year it came early with the Student Choreography Showcase.
This year, combined Upper School choirs along with the Upper School Chamber Strings performed the premiere of a reduced orchestration of Festival Magnificat by Randol Allan Bass.
“I think it’s a wonderful tradition that brings together all parts of the school,” sophomore Olivia Havel said. “I remember being in St. John’s singers and looking up to the Upper School students in Chorale and Kantorei. Personally I’m blown away every year by the talent, and it’s been one of my favorite SJS traditions every year.”
After the service concluded, performers and audience members alike gathered in the Upper School Cafeteria where Kantorei caroled and the Upper School Jazz Band performed.
“Since this was my last Candlelight, it meant a lot to me,” senior Zack Lee said. “The performances by the choirs and the orchestra were the best they’ve ever been.”