Using a variety of recorded music, a program about the events and characters of the Nativity Story will be presented free of charge on Thursday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Bethany Evangelical Congregational Church, 223 East Broad Street in Tamaqua.

The program is one of the opening events for Tamaqua's "Spirit of Christmas" celebration, which runs through Sunday.

Barry Gangwer will host the program, using various musical examples to describe the events and characters of the Christmas Story, beginning with the prophecy from the book of Isaiah sung in Hebrew and the opening verses of the Gospel of John read in Old English.

The music examples will then follow the events, places, people, animals, and the heavenly host through Christ's Nativity.

Gangwer has presented over 25 music talks as part of the Weatherly Area Community Library's Music Appreciation program. He plays the oboe, English horn and clarinet with the Lehighton Band and Zions Opera Workshop Orchestra. He is also member of Zions Lutheran Church choir in Weatherly.

Barry is a Financial Associate with Tobash Insurance Agencies 115 E. Broad St. in Tamaqua.

All musical selections are drawn from his extensive personal library of recordings. He will also be presenting a music appreciation course at the LCCC campus in Tamaqua this spring.

A wide variety of musical styles will be used, ranging from contemporary Christian artist such as Steve Greene to classical of Bach and Handel, cross-over music of Mannheim Steamroller along with folk renditions of traditional carols will be featured as well as some pieces that may be unfamiliar and new to the listener.

Each selection will be preceded by commentary explaining the circumstances behind the composition, anecdotes and what makes a particular piece of music or arrangement unique.

Some of the other artists featured in the recordings will be The Kings Singers, the a capella group Glad, The Black Dyke Mills Brass Band, Jessye Norman, John Rutter and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the organ at Longwood Gardens.

Start your Christmas celebration off with the true meaning of Christmas with this inspirational and entertaining program.

"The Nativity Story in Music" is being presented free of charge to the public by the "Spirit of Christmas" committee.

For more information on this program, contact Barry Gangwer at (570) 668-6934, or the Chamber at (570)668-1880.