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    Since 1954, the Moody Bible Institute Music Department’s production of Candlelight Carols has ushered in the Christmas season for friends and families throughout the Chicagoland area and the world.

    Featuring well-loved carols and innovative drama enhanced by professionally-produced multimedia and effects, Candlelight Carols continues to amaze audiences year after year. The Music Department music ensembles, along with members of Moody's Speech and Drama Core, create a compelling program sure to delight the whole family. This year, start a new tradition and join us for a festive and meaningful celebration of the birth of our Savior!

    This year we told the story behind the Apollo 8 mission to the moon in December 1968, when three American astronauts read from Genesis before a worldwide television audience on Christmas Eve. If you weren’t able to join us this year, you can still listen to the broadcast at www.moodyradio.or(90.1 FM Moody Radio Chicago) on December 20 at 3pm. 

    Next year’s Candlelight Carols performances will be on December 2 and 3. Contact us at musicdept@moody.edu for more information. We hope to see you there!

    When and Where

    Friday, Dec. 2, 2016 at 8 p.m.
    Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 at 2 p.m.
    Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 at 7 p.m.

    The Moody Church
    1630 N. Clark St.
    Chicago, IL

    Doors open 1 hour prior to the concert.

    Ticket Info

    Oct. 17 by calling (312) 329-2399 or via online ticketing. 
    Seating is assigned.



    Complimentary parking will be available starting 2 hours prior to the concert in the parking garage on Moody Bible Institute's campus located at 208 W. Institute Place (on the corner of Wells Street and Institute Place). Round-trip shuttle bus transportation is available from the north side of the parking garage to Moody Church.


    Candlelight - Creative Team Banner

    Creative Team

    Ronald Denison
    Executive Producer



    Executive Producer

    Ron Denison is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Music Theory and Piano from the American Conservatory of Music.

    Prior to joining the Sacred Music Department at Moody in 1990, Mr. Denison chaired the Music Department at Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Mich., teaching courses in music theory, conducting, church music and piano, and toured throughout the continental United States with various music groups representing the college. He has served as minister of music at several churches in Western Michigan and the Chicago area an is now a church pianist at the Grace Fellowship Church in Oak Forest, Ill.

    Ron retired in 2013 after accepting the 2014 Faculty Citation Award for distinguished service to students. He currently serves as an adjunct professor in the department, teaching music theory and producing Candlelight Carols once again.

    Messiah - Xiangtang Hong
    Conductor, Moody Chorale



    Conductor, Moody Chorale

    Xiangtang Hong is professor of music and director of the Moody Chorale. Born in Singapore, Xiangtang felt a passion for choral music when she heard a church choir sing during her early childhood years in America. She later earned a master’s in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College with support from the Singapore National Arts Council, followed by a DMA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2011 Xiangtang received Moody’s Patricia Finch Faculty Excellence Award in Teaching. She enjoys sharing her love of music as a choral clinician and guest conductor, but her greatest joy is mentoring her students.

    Dr. David Gauger
    Conductor, Moody Symphonic Band



    Conductor, Moody Symphonic Band

    David Gauger II is conductor of the Moody Symphonic Band and coordinator of instrumental instruction at Moody Bible Institute, where he also teaches music technology, conducting, and contemporary worship courses. He plays extra and substitute trumpet with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, performing in concerts, recordings, and their recent Europe tour. He was formerly principal trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Tulsa Philharmonic, and is currently assistant principal trumpet of the Elgin Symphony. A graduate of Wheaton College, he earned a DMA in trumpet performance at Northwestern University.

    Dr. H.E. Singley
    Conductor, Moody Men's Collegiate Choir



    Conductor, Moody Men's Collegiate Choir

    H. E. Singley is professor of music and conductor of the Moody Men’s Collegiate Choir; he also teaches church music courses and private lessons. A graduate of Moody Bible Institute, he later earned an MMus from the University of Nebraska and a DMA from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Singley served as a missionary to Latin America with Impact International, served with HCJB Radio in Ecuador, and was a musician in the associate evangelist ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He serves as organist at College Church in Wheaton.

    Dr. Betty-Ann Lynerd
    Conductor, Women's Concert Choir and Handbell Ensemble



    Conductor, Women's Concert Choir and Handbell Ensemble

    Betty-Ann Lynerd is professor of music and director of the Women’s Concert Choir. She also teaches courses on church music philosophy and ministry. A graduate of Westminster College, she has earned an MA in music from Montclair University and a DRS from Trinity Theological Seminary.

    She has conducted choirs throughout the United States and abroad, ministered as a music director, served as a chapter president of the American Choral Directors Association, and is published in several journals about women in music.

    Lindsey Branson
    Drama Director



    Drama Director

    Lindsey Branson (Drama Director) is a proud graduate of Moody Bible Institute. Since graduation, she has worked for Unshackled Radio Drama, World Vision Chicago and Christian Youth Center (now Spotlight). Since 2011, Lindsey has served as an adjunct instructor at Moody, also directing Candlelight Carols and the annual spring play.

    Currently, Lindsey is a full-time associate children's director for The Chapel in Grayslake, overseeing volunteers and children's ministry operations. In addition, she also continues to teach classes and direct youth shows for Spotlight Youth Theater. Having directed over 30 various theatrical endeavors, recent projects include "Tarzan," "Hairspray," "The Dairy of Anne Frank" and "Charlie Brown" (with Dr. Jori Jenkins) among others. She recently earned her M.A. in Theatrical Directing from Roosevelt University. Additional training includes classes at The Second City Training Center, The Acting Studio Chicago, Act One Studios and Victory Gardens.

    Kelli Worrall




    Kelli Worrall is a Professor of Communications at Moody Bible Institute. She has a Masters in Religious Education from Trinity International University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Roosevelt University. She has written over a dozen scripts for Candlelight Carols and has directed many dramatic performances at Moody Bible Institute, including Pygmalion," "All My Sons," "The Importance of Being Ernest," "The Glass Menagerie," "Lost in Yonkers," "The Matchmaker" and "Twelve Angry Men." Kelli enjoys speaking and performing oral interpretation. More information and some of her writing can be found at www.thisoddhouse.org.


    Bryan C. Butler is the illustrator behind this year’s program cover and spot illustrations, which you will see throughout the program. Specializing in illustration, fine art and graphic design, Bryan has been engaged in the visual arts for many years and acquired his BFA, with honors, in 2009 from the American Academy of Art, Chicago, with a focus in illustration.

    Bryan has done work for Lurie Children’s Hospital Chicago, the Chi-Town Jazz Festival, Living the Language.org and Samsung as a holiday season sketch artist. He formerly worked as the in-house designer for GModelo USA, LLC, the U.S. merchandising branch of Mexico’s Grupo Modelo. Some of his most recent projects include book illustrations for Paul Harvey Jr. and eLearning illustrations for YMCA.

    Bryan is currently employed as the full-time graphic designer for The Moody Church (where he has been a member for over 11 years), serving the ministry and media branch’s communication efforts through web and print materials and creative direction. In recent years he has worked with Moody Global Ministries on multiple projects, including illustrations for the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Candlelight Carols festivals.

    For more information and to purchase or order prints of Bryan’s work, including pieces from past Candlelight Carols, visit his booth at the performance or www.bryanbutlerart.com.


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    Candlelight - What People Are Saying Banner

    What People Are Saying

    "Attending this concert is a wonderful way to officially start the Advent season. The music is simply beautiful and runs the gamut from being exhilarating to awe-inspiring. This concert is a perfect way to be reminded once again of the moving story of our Christ's birth. It also helps to remind us of the real reason we celebrate Christmas."

    — Linda

    "My daughter comes home from college just to attend Candlelight Carols with my husband and me. It is the highlight of the season and a wonderful way to enter into the beginning of Christmas." 

    — Pat

    "I graduated from Moody Bible Institute 20 years ago. Yet I was transported back to the days when I first began my journey with Jesus. It was a beautiful night of remembrance, and brought me so much joy. My daughter, who is 15, came with me and she was entranced. That meant so much to me for her to see, not just her local body but believers from all over the planet, praising Christ together. Lovely evening!"

    — Janet

    "Candlelight Carols has been a real blessing to me. It's beautiful, very meaningful and my favorite part of the Christmas season."

    — Faith

    "I enjoy attending Candlelight Carols every year because it helps me start the Christmas season with the right perspective. The music touches my soul in a very special way, and I'm reminded of the goodness of God in sending His Son. The students are very talented, and I enjoy their dedication and creativity in putting together an excellent performance that glorifies God and ministers to people."

    — Angela

    "This was my first experience of Candlelight Carols and for me it was a very special time as I had never known music could be so harmonious and beautiful. I had never experienced anything like this. Dr. Nyquist's sharing of the gospel on the occasion was encouraging and commendable and all in all I loved it and was thankful to witness it." 

    — Satabdi

    "The performance on Friday was awesome! The performance would compete with any 'professional entertainment' celebrating Christmas in Chicago. We have been attending for the past 20 years and this year was the best ever."

    — Burt and Suzy

    "My husband and I love to attend the event. Our daughter graduated from Moody, so it is special to us. A favorite moment is when they walk down the aisle and sing, especially when the lights are out and the candles are lit."

    — Betty

    "We started coming to Candlelight Carols in 2011, and it has become a holiday tradition for our family. My children always look forward to singing along to their favorite carols!"



    Share your Candlelight Carols experience


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    Messiah - Recordings


    In 2004, Moody Bible Institute celebrated the 50th anniversary of our annual presentation of Candlelight Carols and subsequently produced the first anthology of the best of Carols. Since that time, two other anthologies have been produced. Taken from live performances, these collections contain some of the most requested and all-time best selections performed by the Music Department ensembles from 1955 until the present. All CDs are available for purchase from our online store or download a digital copy of "Merrily on High."


    Executive Producer: Ron Denison
    Producers: Angie Thomas, Julia Baad
    Edited and Mastered by: Joel Swan

    Includes the following selections:

    • "Sleigh Ride"
    • "Blue Christmas"
    • "The Twelve Days of Christmas"
    • "Marche from The Nutcracker Suite"
    • "Go Tell It On the Mountain"
    • "Gloria III Vivace e Ritmico"
    • "Of the Father’s Love Begotten"
    • "Betelehemu"
    • "What Child"
    • "Gloria"
    • "How Far Is It to Bethlehem?"
    • "Hurry, Shepherds, Run!"
    • "Ten Thousand Joys"
    • "My Song Is Love Unknown"
    • "Nunc Dimitis"
    • "Who Is He in Yonder Stall?"
    • "O Holy Night"


    O Holy Night CDO HOLY NIGHT

    Executive Producer: Amy Gatschenberger
    Edited and Mastered by: Joel Swan

    Includes the following selections:

    • "Deck the Halls"
    • "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentleman"
    • "Journey of the Wise Men"
    • "Dravidian Dithyramb"
    • "I Wonder as I Wander"
    • "Masters in This Hall"
    • "Russian Christmas Music"
    • "Gloria"
    • "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies"
    • "Mary, Did you Know?"
    • "Fum, Fum, Fum"
    • "Bogoroditse Devo"
    • "Noel"
    • "Joy, Joy"
    • "O Holy Night"

    Merrily on High CDMERRILY ON HIGH

    Executive Producer: Chris Wheeler
    Edited and Mastered by: Joel Swan

    Includes the following selections:

    • "Here We Come A-Caroling"
    • "Noel Ayisyen"
    • "Go Tell It on the Mountain"
    • "Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy"
    • "Personent Hodie from Piae Cantiones"
    • "Of the Father's Love Begotten"
    • "Midnight Clear"
    • "Greensleeves"
    • "Betelehemu"
    • "Ding, Dong, Merrily on High"
    • "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
    • "The First Nowell"
    • "Mary Speaks"
    • "Silent Night! Silent Night!"
    • "Carol of the Huron"
    • "The Three Kings"
    • "Carol of the Bells"
    • "In the Bleak Midwinter"


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