Greater Johnstown Community Chorus’ Christmas Concert, which will be presented at two local churches, is designed to bring joy to the community.

Concerts will be given at First Lutheran Church, 415 Vine St. in downtown Johnstown, on Dec. 19, and at Belmont United Methodist Church, 107 Coldren St. in Richland Township, on Dec. 20.

Both begin at 7 p.m.

“Joy to the World” is the concert theme, said Pat Freidhoff, communications chairwoman for the chorus.

A sampling of Christmas songs the community chorus will sing are “We Three Kings,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Joy to the World” and “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.”

Another offering, titled “Three Carols,” is made up of “Lullaby,” a Czechoslovakian carol; “Coventry Carol,” an Old English tune; and “The Star,” an old Austrian carol.

Several small ensembles also will offer selections.

Last-minute changes in the concert program are possible, Freidhoff said.

The community chorus, now in its eighth year, has 50 members.

Josh Covert, band director at Meyersdale Area High School, directs the chorus.

He and his wife, MariGrace, a voice instructor at Conemaugh Township Area High School at Davidsville, have brought many new musical techniques to the chorus, Freidhoff said.

The chorus will be accompanied by Jeff Hornick on keyboard.

“We produce a big sound,” Freidhoff said.

Pat Konhaus, community chorus president, said the group enjoys good camaraderie.

She sings in the alto section.

Before joining the community chorus, Konhaus said her singing ran mainly to renaissance, baroque and sacred music, but since becoming a chorus member, her range has broadened.

“The chorus has stretched me musically,” she said.

Konhaus is administrator of Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries at the Lutheran Home at Johnstown, 807 Goucher St., Upper Yoder Township.

Freidhoff said the community chorus is thrilled to be a part of what she termed the burgeoning art scene in Greater Johnstown.

She mentioned Art Works in the city’s Cambria City neighborhood, which began as a project of the neighboring Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center, as an example of that expanding interest in art in the area.

And nearly every high school in the region presents a spring musical, a good sign that interest in the arts has a foothold among young people, Freidhoff said.

Rehearsals for the community chorus, open to anyone interested in singing, are held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Belmont church.

Songs of the season

What: Greater Johnstown Community Chorus 2008 Christmas Concert.

When: 7 p.m. Dec. 19 at First Lutheran Church, 415 Vine St., Johnstown, and 7 p.m. Dec. 20 at Belmont United Methodist Church, 107 Coldren St., Richland Township.

Tickets: Available at the doors; $10 for adults, $8 for those 55 and older and $7 for students.

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