Searching for Stars, a unique concert and dinner event on December 6—the Feast of St. Nicholas—hosted over 300 attendees and was the culmination of collaborative efforts between two Chapel Hill Churches and the University of North Carolina’s Morehead Planetarium.
The evening began in the church at The Chapel of the Cross (COTC) where the youth choirs of the parish and United Church of Chapel Hill (UCCH) led concertgoers in a sung, candlelit procession around the sundial on UNC’s campus and into the theatre of the Morehead Planetarium. Under the direction of Joseph Causby, Director of Music and Organist at COTC and Jennifer Anderson, Director of Music at UCCH, the choirs performed seasonal holiday selections. “These two music programs have collaborated in past through RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) events and we thought it would be exciting to work together again to create an event in honor of the Feast of St Nicholas,” said Dr. Causby.
After the concert, the Planetarium put the beauty of the night sky on display under the Fulldome. The evening’s attendees then walked back to the parish hall at The Chapel of the Cross to enjoy a meal together. Dinner coincided with an opportunity to create seasonal crafts that proved a delight across generations, offering an opportunity to take home a lasting memory of this festive occasion. “This glimmer of an idea has blossomed into rich collaboration between two local churches and the University. It has illustrated that with our efforts combined, we can curate experiences beyond what we are capable of on our own. We hope this model of working together—across our community—can create more opportunities like this in the future,” said Ellen Cole, Parish Life and Worship Coordinator at COTC.