What is it about Yuletide carols being sung by a choir that is so appealing?
Of course, that’s a line from one of the most-performed Christmas tunes of all-time (“The Christmas Song, written in 1945 by Robert Wells and Mel Tormé), but on Sunday, it will be more than just a line in a song.
The Hibbing area choir, Voices of Reason, begins their thirteenth season at 3 p.m. Sunday, with a free Christmas performance at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (501 East 23rd Street in Hibbing).
“The concert is called ‘Songs of Angels’ because angels are such an integral part of the Christmas Story,” explained choir director Roy Berg. He continued, “Each and every song has a reference to angels presence and the song that they sing. It is almost rare to find a carol that does not include mention of these heavenly ‘hosts.’”
Berg promises a performance that’s a balanced mix of high-energy tunes bookending a quieter, more contemplative middle section. His group of singers will be accompanied by a brass ensemble (trumpets, trombones, plus tuba), percussion and organ. There are also a couple of classic tunes that the audience will be asked to join in singing, including, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
That particular set has been an idea that Berg said he’s been contemplating for a couple of years and this year just felt right. “I’m always craving to do something that’s new,” he said. “I’m always trying to find the balance between being overwhelmed and underwhelmed.”
Berg is appreciative of the performers he has the pleasure of working with. “I’m so happy that there are people who are willing to make these sacrifices with their time to make this happen,” he gushed. “They’re giving up family time, which is very precious, to work me into their schedules. I’m so indebted to the performers.”
Trying to coordinate the schedules of nearly 30 people isn’t easy, either. “Everything’s so condensed this season,” Berg said. “There are so many potential conflicts, but we find this collaboration so important to share with our community.”
With so many potential time conflicts for both the performers and the audience, Berg appreciates the time investment everyone makes to attend the performances. “The programs that we try to provide this time of year are intended as preparation for the upcoming celebration—a time where we can just focus solely on the meaning and not be fussing about the details of our Christmas observance,” Berg said. “Many have told me that once they have attended our concert, they feel prepared to celebrate this special season.”