“Joy to the World,” the title of the Whitworth University Christmas Festival Concert, is literal. The event, which is slated for Saturday and Sunday at the Fox Theater, is about embracing and showcasing Christmas music from around the globe.
Whitworth choral ensembles and student instrumentalists will play Christmas songs, many of which are unfamiliar, thanks to Whitworth head of choral activities, Dr. Xiaosha Lin.
“I tapped into my own background since I’m from Asia,” Lin said. “There are so many Christmas songs people don’t know about.”
Lin grew up Christian in China.
“We’ll be exposing those who come out to some wonderful songs,” Lin said. “Most Christmas music comes from Western culture. But some of us grew up singing ‘Joy to the World’ and Handel’s ‘Messiah’ in a different language.
“Get ready for diversity in music.”
There will be Hawaiian hymns, Spanish folk songs and Puerto Rican carols, among other styles of music.
“We feel very strongly about having this inclusive and educational event, which is full of world music,” Whitworth University Music Department Program coordinator Melissa Halverson said. “Dr. (Joshua) Chism has taught a global music history class at Whitworth. We’re all about music from around the world and we’re thrilled with what Dr. Lin has come up with.”
The concert will also feature An Dochas, an Irish-American band with cross-cultural influences in the Spokane area.
“I think we cover a lot of bases with this concert,” Lin said. “We have so many styles of music, a great Irish band and more. It’s an evening of diversity and celebrating Christmas in unity.”