Area residents and visitors alike are invited to once again become immersed in joy and inspiration as the Bluff Country Singers share their musical gifts with two concerts on Sunday, December 12, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spring Valley, Minn.
The annual performance returns with a mixture of old favorites and new arrangments with some new elements, beginning with a medley, “Sing, Choirs of Angels,” followed by the “Irish Wexford Carol,” and a traditional spiritual “Rise Up, Children, Arise” which features the Bluff Country Singers debut of Garrison Hubka playing drums. A toccata on “Veni Emmanuel” with David Grandall on the newly refurbished Our Savior’s pipe organ gives the singers an opportunity to add a spatial dimension to an “Antiphonal Gloria” and then return to the main stage during the Jessica Daly violin solo of “Away in the Manger.” Ms. Daly stays to accompany a wonderful arrangement of “All is Well,” and the first set closes with the melodic “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.”
The audience will have an opportunity to participate musically while singing “Joy to the World” and to help with the costs of music for the group with a freewill offering during a string quartet version of “Merry Christmas” which features the talents of Jessica Daly and Courtney Duxbury, violin; Karen Grandall, viola; and Pam Freet, cello, as well as the sweet “Gesù Bambino” solo of soprano Amanda Geer.
The string quartet stays to accompany “Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine” which is followed by a contemplative arrangement of “My Song in the Night.” The Bluff Country Singers sopranos and altos are featured in “We Need a Little Christmas” and the second set is concluded with a Brenda Staudinger alto solo of “O Holy Night.”
The chorus returns in full voice with the whimsical “Fum, Fum, Fum,” and then will inspire with “Climb to the Top of the Highest Mountain,” and close with a traditional candle lit version of “Silent Night, Holy Night.”
All told, this concert will help signal a great return to a more normal Christmas season. However, the audience is encouraged to wear masks, while the singers and instrumentalists will not be wearing masks.