Happily, there will not be many silent nights in Blair County over the next few weeks as the Christmas concert season looms.
Among the many local arts groups preparing for holiday shows is the Allegheny Chorale in Tyrone.
The musicians will present “Together at Christmas” on December 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Tyrone.
“We sponsor our concert at the beginning of December, and it really kicks off the holiday season for so many people,” said Director Debbie Estright. “It’s just something to get people into that Christmas spirit.”
Estright promises a fast moving concert with music that will appeal to everyone.
She said the chorale will perform two pieces from Handel’s Messiah, new arrangements of some traditional Christmas carols, and some brand new tunes, as well.
“It is an opportunity for people to come and enjoy a free concert and enjoy the true meaning of Christmas and the holiday atmosphere,” stated President Janet Pearson.
The Allegheny Chorale is celebrating its 34th season.
Membership varies each year, but according to Estright, the group is currently comprised of about 68 members – some of whom have been affiliated all 34 years.
Estright, a music teacher at Tyrone Elementary School, is marking her 14th season as director.
“It is a fixture in the Tyrone community,” she stated. “It becomes a family of people who come together and share the gift of music with friends, family, and community members. I think that’s what the appeal is. The audience sees that we love what we are doing. Any time you are sharing your art, you’re sharing part of your personal self.”
After the Christmas concert, the group will begin preparing for its annual spring concert with two performances: April 28 at 3:00 p.m. at Saint James Lutheran Church in Altoona and April 30 at 7:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Tyrone.
Rehearsals will begin on the evening of January 15 and continue every Tuesday night in the music room of the Tyrone Area High School.
“Anyone is welcome to join the rehearsals,” Pearson stressed. “We welcome new members.”
No auditions are required, but prospective members should be familiar with music, Estright added.
The chorale typically performs a mix of sacred and traditional music, Pearson said, emphasizing the enriching experience the group offers.
“Personally, I like it because I see what it does for the participants and for the community,” she offered. “There’s a camaraderie and friendship among us, and then we’re able to give that back to the community. That’s what feels good.”