By CHERIL VERNON
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Anderson County Community Choir and Orchestra will perform its 2013 show “Sounds of Christmas” on Sunday, Dec. 15 at the Palestine High School Auditorium.
Because of seating, and to accommodate demand, the choir now presents two concerts each Christmas season, at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Admission to the event is free.
What began 10 years ago with a small church choir has evolved and morphed over the past decade into a group of some 90 vocalists accompanied by a 20-member orchestra, who together will present an annual Christmas concert to the community, directed by Rhonda Herrington.
This will be PHS sophomore Jaime Pena's second year to play the flute in the orchestra.
“I enjoy it because I get to hear the sounds of all of the instruments and voices together, which makes the perfect blend of music,” Pena said during a recent rehearsal.
The 2013 program includes 12 selections from the first decade of concerts, ranging from the familiar sounds of “Silent Night” to the stand-up thrill of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”
“Some of the music reaches back in time to the earliest centuries of Christian observances; some is as recent as the last decade. But all embody the familiar sounds of Christmas that will almost immediately evoke memories of Christmas past,” local historian Jack Selden said.
The live orchestra adds a special dimension to the choir’s performances.
“As with the choir members, the talented musicians of the orchestra welcome the opportunity to be a part of this large and versatile ensemble of performers,” Selden said. “And for members of the listening public, the program by the Anderson County Choir and Orchestra is an incredible treat for music lovers of all generations.
“It will kindle your Christmas spirit and fill your heart with song. It is something you should not miss.”
PHS is located at 1600 S. Loop 256.