Saint Mary Mokena echoed with the sound of cherished Christmas carols on Friday, December 14. The church choirs, along with professional soloists and instrumentalists, brought the Christmas spirit to guests of all ages.
It was called a “Do It Yourself” Christmas Concert because audience members were encouraged to participate in the caroling. Each section of the church was reserved for either soprano, alto, tenor or bass singers.
Traditional favorites were sung including “What Child is This?,” “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” and “I Saw Three Ships.” Anna Pacek, Director of Sacred Music at Saint Mary, conducted the performance.
“This was our third annual D.I.Y. Christmas Concert,” says Pacek. “We had a great turnout; probably our largest attendance yet. With the expanded orchestra, extra solo pieces and special performance by our Children’s Choir, it really was lovely.”
This year, a new component of the concert was the expanded role of the children’s choir, which sang “The Christmas Canon.” Two members of this choir also sang solos: Elizabeth Signorelli sang “Once in Royal David’s City” and Caitlyn Lim sang the child’s part of “Good King Wenceslaus.”
Simonetta M. Pacek, Associate Director of Sacred Music at Saint Mary, in addition to coordinating the children’s choir, sang soprano, including a duet performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Gloria Patri” with Tenor Trevor Mitchell.
“This year, the DIY Christmas Concert was especially joyous because we added some special surprises,” says Associate Director Pacek. “Not only did we add some special solos and a duet, but I decided to feature the children’s choir with their very own piece, ‘The Christmas Canon’…Our children’s choir motto is “excellence,” and they are bringing me great joy as we strive to achieve that!
Toward the end of the concert, everyone stood up to sing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, complete with the orchestra and a trumpeter. The night culminated with a festive performance of “Joy to the World.”
“The concert was a time of joyful music that brought back fond memories of Christmases past and the joyful anticipation of the birth of our Lord Jesus in a few days to come,” says Father Dindo Billote, pastor of Saint Mary. “Anna and Simonetta Pacek have outdone themselves; this was the best, ‘Do it Yourself Christmas Concert,’ yet!”
See more pictures from the concert in the slideshow below: