Don’t miss this year’s production of Candlelight Carols, a favorite Christmas tradition produced by the Moody Bible Institute Music Department. Join friends throughout the Chicago area for well-loved carols and innovative drama enhanced by multimedia and effects. Moody’s music ensembles will partner with members of Moody's Speech and Drama Core, creating a compelling program sure to delight the whole family. This year, start a new tradition and join us for a meaningful celebration of the birth of our Savior!

Candlelight Carols 2016: Just As They Had Been Told explores ideas about long-standing faith using a Christmas parable set in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood.

A struggling poet searching for meaning. An elderly landlord with boundless hope. New parents in the midst of big changes. A young man searching for love. A faithful widow who holds them all together. Get to know these unique characters—join us for Candlelight Carols 2016: Just As They Had Been Told.

When and Where

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

The Moody Church / 1635 N. LaSalle St., Chicago, IL 60614

Ticket Info

Oct. 17--Dec. 1, 2016

Tickets are now available only at-door for $15 each.  Hope to see you there!

Click here to download the official Candlelight Carols Survey Contest rules.


Limited free parking is available at the Moody parking garage (208 W. Institute Place, Chicago, IL 60610). Please arrive 45 minutes early. The parking garage opens at 5:00 p.m. for evening performances and at 11:00 a.m. for the Saturday matinee. If the garage is full, you will be directed to paid lots. For more information and pay-ahead parking options, see
Ride our free shuttle bus from Moody’s parking garage (208 W. Institute Place) to the performance at The Moody Church (1630 N. Clark Street, Chicago). If you prefer, drop passengers off at the LaSalle Boulevard entrance of The Moody Church (also handicap access).

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Messiah - Xiangtang Hong

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

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

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

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.



Professor of Speech and Drama

Matthew Moore is excited to be starting his first year at Moody in the Communication Arts Division as the new Professor of Speech and Drama. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in classical acting from The George Washington University and has been teaching theatre and communication classes for nearly 20 years. He also works professionally as an actor, director, and voice-over artist.

Matthew is the founder of Lamp and Light Productions, which has the mission of helping people see, hear, and experience the Bible in a unique way. He has developed three different performances of Scripture, which he has performed at churches, schools, museums, and para-church organizations around the country. Find out more at



Scriptwriter and Producer

Christopher Wheeler has been writing most of his life, in constant search of new ways to communicate truth through story. Since transplanting from rural Indiana to downtown Chicago to study at Moody Bible Institute, he has been involved at the Christian Reformed Church in Western Springs, IL, collaborating musically and writing original dramas and liturgies for the worship ministry of the church. He was the winner of the 2011 Jenkins Writer Awards while at Moody.

After graduating in 2012 with a B.Mus. in Worship and Music, Chris joined the Music Department team as event coordinator and office administrator. This year marks his fifth year in this role, his second year as executive producer of Candlelight Carols, and his first year writing an original script for the event. He writes weekly stories at and blogs about art and faith at

Chris and his wife, Linnea, live in Brookfield, Ill., with their three kids, Nadia (4), Malakai (2), and Perseus (6 months), who provide more writing material and motivation than he will ever need.


Ronald Denison

Production Consultant

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 2014 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 consulting for the production team of Candlelight Carols.



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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!"—Desirée




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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"
That You May Know CD


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"
O Holy Night CD


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"
Merrily on High CD

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