The Bach and Handel Chorale begins its 29th concert season with a series of Christmas Concerts.

The first takes place at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 21 Race St., Jim Thorpe.

Concerts will also be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at St. John's Lutheran Church, 106 Main St., Ringtown; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 1249 Trexlertown Road in Trexlertown.

Two chorale members will sing solos. Soprano Angela Mosley opens the concert with "Once in Royal David's City" by Henry Gauntlett. Edward Sayre will provide the baritone solo for "Gesu Bambino (The Infant Jesus)" by Pietro A. Yon.

In addition, Sophia Samoleski, a piano student of Maestro Randall D. Perry and voice student of Joel Sager, joins the chorale at St. Mark's only for the soprano solo of "Morning Star, O Cheering Sight" by Francis Florentine Hagen.

Tickets can be ordered at Dimmick Memorial Library, 62 Broadway, Jim Thorpe; Naturally Yours, 103 Broadway, Jim Thorpe; and by mail at the Bach and Handel Chorale Office, 810 Carbon Ave., Jim Thorpe; or order by phone at (570) 325-4794. The purchase of tickets includes a discount at select area restaurants.

In addition to the regular Christmas concerts, the Bach and Handel Chorale will make two other singing appearances in December.

On Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. WVIA TV is premiering the "Our Town: Jim Thorpe" documentary, which explores the rich elements, anthracite legacy, Molly Maguires, Jim Thorpe landmarks, events, music, local stories and beauty which make this area home to its inhabitants.

Members of the chorale and other Mauch Chunkers will man the phones to help WVIA raise funds for its operations. The chorale wil

l also sing the "Hallelujah" Chorus from Handel's "Messiah." Maestro Perry will conduct and accompany the chorale on piano.

Following the Dec. 9 concert in Trexlertown, the chorale will join the Southern Gospel Group, Ernie Haase, at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe at 7 p.m.

Chorale members will sing back up to the traditional spiritual "Amen," and three arrangements by Wayne Haun: "He Started the Whole World Singing," "Changed by a Baby Boy" and "Light a Candle."