By Max Erikson

Christmas Cantata will have four performances


December 6, 2017

file photo

SONGS OF THE SEASON: Barb Stout directed the Christmas Cantata last year and does so again this year in four performances around Goldendale

Goldendale United Methodist Church music director Barb Stout and pianist Betty Fahlenkamp are presenting the 38th annual Christmas cantata choir again this year that has become a long-running holiday tradition in Goldendale since 1980.

The choir will do several performances this month starting with a few songs at the Community Christmas Concert at the Goldendale High School on Dec. 11. The choir group will do a performance at Dwinell Country Ales on Dec. 13 at 5:45 p.m. and then a performance at the Maryhill Winery on Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 17 will be the final and most elaborate performance at the Goldendale Methodist Church at 7 p.m. Performers will be dressed formally, and refreshments will be served after the show.

"This year's theme for the cantata is called 'Forever Christmas' and is a combination of different songs that tell a story," Stout says. "Some songs are drawn from scriptures from the gospel of Luke."

A cantata is a choral composition for a choir with an instrumental accompaniment; telling a story set to music or a lyrical narrative meant to be sung and not acted.

Fahlenkamp plays the piano as the instrumental accompaniment and Stout says the two work so well together after 38 years that they can practically read each other's minds when composing the music.

"Every year we try to do something different from the previous year and that keeps it interesting," Stout Says. "The performance is about 45 minutes and it is a very casual fun time"

The choir consists of 30 members, but Stout says everyone who is interested in singing in the performances can still join the group.

"Every year we open it up to the community for anyone who wants to join," Stout says. "The songs are pretty easy to learn and you don't have to be a part of the church or any religious affiliation to participate."

Rehearsals are every Wednesday at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m. and Stout says people can just show up the day of rehearsal and join in.

"Even if you aren't a great singer it doesn't matter," Stout says. "If being in a choir is something you always wanted to try, then you will be welcomed."


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