Large cantata in Lehighton accentuates birth of Jesus
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Brent Harris, left, and Joy Dougherty combine for a solo during cantata held last night at Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton. The cantata was comprised of choir members from 21 churches.
They made a joyful noise unto the Lord last night in Zion United Church of Christ, Lehighton.
Singers from choirs of 21 churches combined for a cantata, with the program filling nearly the capacity the massive auditorium of Zion UCC.
Entitled "On This Very Night," the cantata had selections by the ecumenical choir, by soloists, and, of course, audience participation.
The narration was by Doc Holiday and Kathy Long.
Accompanying the vocalists was the 21-piece Zion Festival Orchestra.
The cantata was under the direction of Bradley R. Cressley, music director of Zion UCC.
Rev. Allen L. Heckman, pastor of the host church, issued the call to worship and read from the scripture, Matthew 1: 18-25, in which the Birth of Christ is presented.
The cantata provided a musical account of the birth of Jesus.
Soloists Joy Dougherty and Brent Harris sang the number "Who Would Imagine A King" while Shannon Frycklund sang the solo "Go Tell With Go, Tell It On the Mountain."
The chorus captivated the audience with its rendition of the perennial Christmas favorite, "The Little Drummer Boy."
Jessica Schafer was a soloist with the Choraliers for "Christmastime with Away in a Manger."
There was a duet by organist Cindy Mack and pianist Laura Cressley.
The audience was led in the singing of "Joy to the World," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Silent Night," and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."
Special note was given to Paul and Linn Smith, former music directors of Zion UCC who participated in the cantata and are responsible for starting the ecumenical event a number of years ago.
Churches taking part in the cantata, besides Zion UCC, were:
All Saints Episcopal, Ben Salem UCC, Christ Evangelical Free Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Dinkey Memorial Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Grace Lutheran Church, St. John's Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran Church, SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Salem Bible Fellowship Church, all of Lehighton.
Assembly of God Church, Hazleton; Bethany Wesleyan Church, Cherryville; Calvary Christian Church, Stroudsburg; Emmanuel UCC and Trinity Lutheran Church, both of Bowmanstown.
Life Church, Pocono; St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Bowmanstown, and St. John's Towamensing Lutheran Church.
The Zion Opera Workshop of Lehighton all took part in the cantata.