Skylar DeWitt ’24

For the first time since 1941, the venerable Dimnent Chapel will not be the 2020 Hope College Christmas Vespers home venue due to space and air exchange restrictions imposed by COVID-19 mandates. The Vespers tradition began just hours after the Pearl Harbor attack and the department of music presentation of choirs, ensembles, organists, and instrumentalists is normally offered in four performances during the first weekend before exams. This year, the virtual performances are recorded primarily in the Concert Hall of the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts, opened in 2015, with additional footage in Dimnent Chapel.

The Vespers tradition has been temporarily altered but students and their families eagerly engage in the experience including multiple generations. Skylar DeWitt, class of 2024, is performing in the same program as her parents as a double bass member of the String Orchestra and the jazz ensemble accompanying Away in a Manger. Mark DeWitt ’87 is singing in College Chorus as one of two staff members invited by Eric Reyes, Director of Choral Activities, to join the student ensemble. Dawn DeYoung ’92 DeWitt is contributing as a Chapel Choir alumna singing And the Child Grew and O Come All Ye Faithful. Additional Chapel Choir alumni in Skylar’s family include her grandfather Dennis DeWitt ’63 and her cousin Sarah VandenBrink ’11, assistant professor of music (voice).

Consider streaming Vespers on on Saturday, December 5 at 7:30 p.m.

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