Choral society Christmas concerts this weekend

Published 6:53 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Very few people have Christmas on the mind in the summertime, with the exception of the members of the Beaufort County Choral Society.

Since August, the choral society has been rehearsing for its annual Christmas concert, with the help of choral director Stephen Brand and rehearsal pianist Doug Cutler. Two performances of the choral society’s winter concert are lined up for this weekend. The first takes place at Arts of the Pamlico’s Turnage Theatre on Friday at 7 p.m.; the second concert will be held Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Bath, the state’s oldest church.

“December Memories” features traditional carols such as “I Heard the Bells” and a Christmas medley of holiday favorites in “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Silver Bells,” “Let It Snow,” and more. The set list also ventures into other genres of songs and language, “Magnum Mysterium” is sung in Latin, “Come and See the Baby” adds a gospel sound, “Silent Night” will be performed in German (“Stille Nacht”) and American Sign Language, “Betelehemu” is sung in Nigerian, a song reminiscent of the music of the popular musical, “The Lion King,” according to BCCS publicist Sue Jefferson. The group also verges into some musical humor with “I want to Stare at My Phone with You.”

Joining the singers of the choral society are choral director Brand, pianist Justin Sturz, Terri Ann McLawhorn, who will be signing “Silent Night,” and percussionist Quintin Mallatte.

BCCS performs two concerts a year, rehearsing Thursday nights at First Presbyterian Church in Washington. Jefferson said they’re always looking to add more singers.

“It’s fun! And singing is one of the best things to do for yourself — improves mental alertness and lowers stress levels. Plus you meet all these great people, other singers. And you give the gift of music to the community,” Jefferson wrote in an email.

This weekend’s concerts are free to the public, however, donations supporting BCCS are appreciated. The Turnage Theatre is located at 150 W. Main St. in Washington; St. Thomas Episcopal Church is located 101 101 Craven St., Bath.