Youth chorale heralds season

Published 3:27 pm Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas tidings will soon echo through the halls of St. Thomas Episcopal Church as the Montgomery Youth Chorale presents “Music for Advent and Christmas.”

The Montgomery Youth Chorale is a byproduct of the Montgomery Chorale adult members and the youth (ages 8-16) of Montgomery as well as the surrounding area, including the Camellia City, whose members are dedicated to presenting concerts in a wide variety of musical styles in concerts around the state.

St. Thomas will serve as host to such a concert on Sunday, December 15 beginning at 4 p.m.

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“We are expecting them to do a series of Advent and Christmas music,” said St. Thomas Episcopal Church choirmaster Charles Kennedy.

The Advent season, derived from the Latin word “adventus,” meaning “coming,” celebrates the time of waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus during the Christmas season.

“In the Episcopal church, unlike most of our fellow churches in town, we don’t sing music of the Christmas season until Christmas,” Kennedy continued.

“So tunes like ‘Joy to the World,’ ‘Silent Night’ and all of the stories of the birth of Jesus are Christmas carols, and we start singing Christmas carols on December 24 at our evening service, and then we continue to sing well into January as a part of the 12 days of Christmas.”

In accordance with tradition, the members of St. Thomas are only singing songs such as “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” that celebrate Christmas without commenting on the birth of Jesus itself.

However, concessions have been made at St. Thomas for the sake of the concert in terms of the musical offerings people can expect.

“Because (the Montgomery Youth Chorale) is not a church group, so to speak, we are going to broaden our view a little bit and they will do a combination of advent music, Christmas carols and it’s possible that they will not only do religious music, but also Christmas pop songs,” Kennedy said.

But ultimately, regardless of the musical offerings chosen, Kennedy said that the concert could prove an enlightening experience for everyone.

“I would encourage young people to come to this concert because I think they would enjoy meeting these young people from Montgomery, and they could talk to the Director Joel Gregory and learn more about the requirements to become a member,” Kennedy said.

“And, having had a lot of experience in music, being a part of a really good musical organization is a good thing for young and old people alike.

“It’s kind of a unique thing that human beings have an opportunity to do, and when you’re a part of a really good musical organization, it can build a memory and make an impression that you will carry for the rest of your life.  It’s something that has been a very good thing in my life, and a lot of other people that I’ve talked to and known through the years.”

Though St. Thomas isn’t issuing tickets for the concert, people are asked to reserve as soon as possible due to limited seating.

Reserve a seat for “Music for Advent and Christmas” by contacting Charles Kennedy at or (334) 437-2900.