Georgetown, KY – Far be it for Georgetown College Choir director John Campbell to throw his audience a red herring – especially at Christmas time. But, his choirs are changing up their usual holiday fare a bit with the “Mystery and Messiah” concert that needs some explanation.

The “mystery” will be cleared up – as well as a treat to hear – at 3 p.m., Sunday (Dec. 2) in the College’s John L. Hill Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Campbell said the mystery comes as three settings of “O magnum mysterium.” When translated, the title means “Oh great mystery,” and it speaks about the wonder that is the birth of Jesus. 

The first setting is by Renaissance composer Tomás Luis de Victoria, the other two by contemporary composers Morten Lauridsen and Ivo Antognini. Campbell had the chance to meet the latter two in person at the World Choir Games 2012 in Cincinnati this past summer.

The choir director said that the concert will “have some element that appeals to every member of the audience.” The music mixes old and new, with Handel’s famous “Hallelujah” chorus and the 20th century “Fanfares” by American David Pinkham.

There will be a guest appearance by the Chapel Brass, directed by Dr. H.M. Lewis. There will also be an appearance by Campbell’s Liberal Arts Voice Class, who will be accompanying the choir on handbells to “Carol Medley.” This is one of Dr. Campbell’s own arrangements of Christmas carols.