• Candlelight Carol
  • Event Program

    History of the Candlelight Carol Service 

    In 1964, under the direction of Robert McGill, the Hendrix College Choir began presenting a service of lessons and carols, modeled after the annual Christmas Eve service at King's College in Cambridge, England. The Candlelight Carol Service has since become an important Hendrix tradition. Each year over 1,200 people attend one of the four on-campus performances during the last week of classes. Immediately following final exams, the Choir tours the region, performing the service at United Methodist churches in Arkansas and neighboring states. Repertoire featured in the Candlelight Carol Services changes yearly, and includes works from the 15th century to the present day. 

    Enthusiasts of organ music greatly enjoy the service, which features Hendrix College organist Timothy Allen performing works on our splendid two-manual organ, constructed in 1997 by Little Rock organ builders Nichols & Simpson, Inc. (you can read more about the instrument  here).

    Hendrix College Candlelight Carol Competition

    In 2015, Hendrix College launched an annual competition to select a newly composed work for the Candlelight Carol Services. Over 85 composers from three continents submitted works for consideration. Edmund Jolliffe, of London, was selected as the 2015 winner. His carol, A Christmas Lullaby, was premiered by the Hendrix Choir and was recently accepted for publication by Oxford University Press. 

    We are pleased to continue the Carol Competition in 2016. Updated contest guidelines may be found here. There are several changes to the contest guidelines this year, including the requirement that all submissions feature organ accompaniment. We are also pleased to announce the new selection committee, which includes Dr. Karen Griebling and Dr. Andrew Morgan (both of Hendrix College), Dr. Matthew Mehaffey (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities), and Dr. Dominick DiOrio (Indiana University). For further information, please send your questions to carolcompetition@hendrix.edu

      2016 Candlelight Carol Service

      Performance and Tour Information

      On Campus Performance Dates

      Greene Chapel, Hendrix College 

      • December 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m.
      • December 4 at 4:00 p.m.

        This year we will begin implementing an online reservation system through Eventbrite.  

        Those who wish may still make reservations via phone this year. Box office hours are  

        listed below. 

        For reservations call (501) 450-1495 beginning on November 21. 


        Box Office Hours 

      November 21 & 22, 10:00am - 3:00pm 
      November 28 - December 2, 12:00 - 2:00pm 

      Tour Schedule

      The Candlelight Carol Service may also be seen at the following United Methodist Churches:

        Thursday, December 15, 7:30pm

        First United Methodist Church

        200 N. 15th St.

        Fort Smith, AR 72091


      Friday, December 16, 7:30pm

        Performance venue TBD

    • Candlelight Carol