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Zion UCC music department to present cantata Dec. 1

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    The Zion United Church of Christ in Lehighton will present its Ecumenical Cantata “His Name is Jesus” at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Zion UCC sanctuary. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published November 27. 2019 11:18AM

Zion UCC will present “His Name is Jesus” at 7 p.m. Dec. 1.

The group of 85 singers comes from various denominations from over 33 different local churches, and singers come from Lehighton and surrounding communities as far away as Auburn.

The Cantata, written by Dennis and Nan Allen, tells the story of Christ’s birth through readings and songs. Narrators for the event are Kathy Long and Dan “Deacon” Evans. The songs are a beautiful mix of traditional and modern music, as well as spirituals and ballads.

Included are: “Joy to the World!” “What Did You Say Was the Baby’s Name,” “Emmanuel,” “Say the Name,” “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know” and more.

This is a brand-new cantata that was purchased with gifts from members of 2018’s ecumenical cantata, along with memorial gifts that were given in memory of Paul R. Smith, Shirley Wentz, Carol LaRose and Judy Harris.

Soloists for the cantata are David Riegel and Whitney Smith. Laura Reichard serves as the group’s accompanist, and will also offer special musical selections and man Zion’s historic Austin Pipe organ.

The group of singers will be accompanied by Zion’s Festival orchestra with 21 members from six counties.

In addition to accompanying the choir, they will also offer special Christmas selections including: “A Festive Fanfare,” “Christmas Music for Orchestra,” “Christmas Rocks at the Pops,” “All is Calm,” “Rock the Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “A Most Wonderful Christmas” and more.

The event is free, but a freewill offering will be collected to benefit Zion’s many ministries, which help many in the community.

The cantata is under the direction of Bradly R. Cressley, director of music at Zion UCC.

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