Christmas concert set for Dec. 13 at St. Agnes Cathedral


The St. Agnes Cathedral choirs are preparing for their annual Christmas concert, which takes place on Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m. About 120 singers from the Senior Girls Choir, Diocesan Boys/Teens Choir, Master Chorale, Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys and Cathedral Chorale, as well as cathedral singers, soloists and an orchestra, will deliver “a musical presentation” to celebrate “the true meaning of Christmas,” the event flyer reads. The concert will include both traditional and contemporary Christmas tunes, such as “O Holy Night,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Hallelujah Chorus.” The choirs will also sing “Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas” from the 1992 film “Home Alone 2” together.

“It will be somewhat theatrical,” said Michael Bower, musical director at St. Agnes for the past 35 years. He added that there will be opportunities for the audience to sing along.

Of the singers that will come together and perform, roughly 75 percent of them are Rockville Centre residents, Bower noted. Many of the children performing go to St. Agnes Cathedral School or are in the Rockville Centre public school system and attend religious services and education at St. Agnes. In addition, some singers come from out of town, including from Manhattan, Albany and Princeton, N.J., to perform with the St. Agnes Cathedral choirs.

“There will be some reading and narration,” Bower hinted. “At one point, the choirs will be on either side of the cathedral. It’s a big choir on the altar up there.”

From first graders to the senior community, all generations will be represented onstage. Each choir will perform individually to showcase their own vocal qualities. When the choirs all come together, it will be “a spectacular, grand sound,” Bower said. The Christmas concert culminates an exciting year for the choral groups, he added.

About two weeks ago, eight boys and eight girls from their respective St. Agnes choirs performed at the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Resurrection Ascension School and Parish in Rego Park. The presentation was part of an initiative by Worldwide Children’s Choir Association to spread the message “about the beauty of children singing and being involved in choir, especially in a world that’s somewhat fragile and fragmented,” Bower noted.

A video of that performance was sent to thousands of choir directors worldwide, Bower said.

On Nov. 10, a selection of singers young and old sang for Music Ministry Recognition Sunday. They gathered to perform “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and dedicated it to veterans for Veterans Day. And in June, the choirs had their most recent, joint performance at St. Agnes. They sang Mozart’s “Requiem.” During the event, the village honored the choir’s cantor, Holliday “Holly” Haynes, who has sung at St. Agnes for more than 30 years. The alto will be the lead vocalist at next week’s Christmas concert.

There is a suggested donation of $25. For more information, call (516) 764-9578.