The Capital University Conservatory of Music will present its annual Christmas Festival, "Love Came Down at Christmas," Dec. 2-5 at 7:30 p.m. in Mees Hall.

The Capital University Conservatory of Music will present its annual Christmas Festival, "Love Came Down at Christmas," Dec. 2-5 at 7:30 p.m. in Mees Hall.

"This is a tradition that dates back to 1928," said Dr. Lynda Hasseler, director of choirs.

She said one reason the festival is so appealing is the variety it offers with five different choirs, instrumentalists and reading of poetry, prose and scripture. There are traditional carols through the festival and the audience can sing along, Hasseler said.

The Chapel Choir, Choral Union, Women's Chorus, The Chordsmen and Philomel perform. The production involves between 225 and 250 students each year, Hasseler said

"This is a caroling event in the grandest manner," she said. "There is a lot of pageantry to it. We use every aisle, balcony and floor space."

Hasseler, who has been involved with the festival for 21 years, said it kicks off the Christmas season and is a great gift to offer people.

"For the students who are in it, it is exhausting," Hasseler said. "It is a lot of work. It is a joyous thing to do, come to school to sing, to have the response be so positive so have it be a meaningful part of the lives of so many people helps them connect why they are here and why they chose to pursue music as part of their life."

A member of the chapel choir, senior Haley Evans' is participating in the Christmas Festival for the fifth year. She chose to go to Capital University after hearing her brother perform.

"My brother actually went to Capital before me," she said. "He sang in the choral union. I attended as a spectator when I was in high school. They all put together such an amazing program. I needed to be involved in this and needed to go to school (here)."

Preparation for the festival starts in September. The chapel choir memorizes at least 15 pieces of music in various languages and in multiple styles, Hasseler said. She said it is nice to be able to offer the concert four times.

"So often you work that hard and present the concert once," she said. "Each night is a little different. "

The highlight of the festival, Hasseler said, is the overwhelming beauty of the music. She works with choirs on a daily basis but hearing the audience participate in the festival is truly overwhelming, the raising of all the voices together in the community.

"I get to look out at everyone to see it happening," she said.

This year's theme is "Love Came Down at Christmas," and the concept of love runs through all the texts that are shared during the festival. The theme is based on the 16th-century poem of the same name written by a female poet, Hasseler said.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens (ages 62 and older), plus a $2 handling fee per order. There is a limit of eight tickets per purchase. Due to the length of the festival concert, the event is not appropriate for infants and small children.

For a ticket order form log on to the website at http://www.capital.edu/30716.pdf. Mail the order form or use it to purchase tickets at the Capital box office in Mees Hall. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Friday. Phone orders can be made by calling 236-6938.