The Ozark Festival Orchestra, continuing its 29th season, will team up with the Crowder College Community Choir for the fourth consecutive year for a Christmas concert. Performances will be given at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7, at the United Methodist Church at 224 South Wood Street, just off the square in downtown Neosho, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14, at the First United Methodist Church in Monett, at 1600 North Central, across from North Park on Highway 37.
The orchestra, under the baton of music director Ken Meisinger, will present the "the real meaning of Christmas", by telling the Christmas story in the Nine Lessons and Carols program, developed by Kings College in Cambridge, England. Traditional carols have been arranged by eminent choral composer John Rutter, and include several for the congregation to sing along.
Singing along with the orchestra will be members of the Crowder College Community Choir, directed by Dr. Kierstin Bible. In addition to the Nine Lesson and Carols, the choir sing several contemporary Christian selections, either a capella or with piano accompaniment.
The Kings College Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve 1918.
The service was first broadcast in 1928, and has since become a Christmas tradition itself. Prominent figures in both communities will participate in reading scripture in the program. Both concerts will be offered without an admission charge. Donations will be appreciated to cover the orchestra's expenses.
Financial assistance for this concert is provided by First State Bank of Purdy. The Ozark Festival Orchestra is supported by memberships, donations, and endowments managed by the Monett Community Foundation.