The Christmas spirit filled the hearts and ears of everyone who attended and participated in Saint Mary Mokena’s Second Annual “Do it Yourself’ Christmas Concert on Friday.
A live string ensemble played beautiful music as Saint Mary Choir members led a crowded church in joyous song. Everyone attending had the option to participate (that was the “Do it Yourself” part), and could sit in dedicated Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass sections of the church.
Anna Pacek, Director of Sacred Music at Saint Mary, conducted the ensemble, which played a host of traditional carols including “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” and “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” The audience was also treated to a special harp performance and an appearance by members of the Saint Mary Children’s Choir.
In between carols, the audience learned interesting historical tidbits about various songs. Did you know, for example, that “Good King Wenceslas” was a Bohemian king who converted his country to Christianity? Or that the three ships in the carol “I Saw Three Ships” might be referring to three ships carrying the relics of the Wise Men during the middle ages?
About mid-way through the concert, Simonetta Pacek, Associate Director of Sacred Music at Saint Mary, performed a magnificent solo of “Oh Holy Night.” The audience was visibly moved as she reached the high note at the end.
For the finale, the choir led the congregation in an awe-inspiring rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus,” a personal favorite of Father Dindo, who was elated with the entire concert. “It was wonderful to hear everyone in the church singing together and remembering all the beautiful songs of Christmas,” he remarked.
Check out the video below for highlights from the Second Annual Saint Mary “Do It Yourself” Christmas Concert!