Christmas Concert Is Director's Swan Song

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Mary Ann Irvine, the Payson Choral Society's director for more than seven years, takes her final bow at the group's Dec. 18 Christmas concert.

"But I'll be back to sing," she said. "It's all the fun and a lot less work."

The concert, "Sounds of Christmas," will be presented in two performances -- 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. -- Saturday, Dec. 18 at the Payson High School auditorium.

Irvine said "Alleluia," the program's finale, by Randall Thompson, is one of the most complicated pieces the society has performed.

The 60-member group will be accompanied on the piano by Sarah Nordstrom Nelson; incoming director, Daria Mason, plays the flute and conducts portions of the program.

Other special performances will be presented by bell ringer Cindy Machen; soloists Stephanie Prest, Del Bohlmeyer, John Landino and Barbara Potvin; the Payson Choral Society Chamber Singers; the Men of the Choral Society; and the Women of the Choral Society.

The audiences at both performances can sing along to holiday favorites like "Frosty, the Snowman," "O Come, All Ye Faithful," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and "What Sweeter Music."

Tickets are $8 for adults, $3 for students 12 to 18; children 11 and under admitted free. Purchases can be made in advance from choral society members, the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Roundup and the Payson Public Library. Tickets also will be available at the door before each concert.

Proceeds are used to fund musical scholarships, presented at the annual spring concert, for middle and high school students.

The spring concert is planned for Saturday, June 4, with auditions scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 20 and Jan. 24 at the United Methodist Church, 414 N. Easy St., Payson. Rehearsals begin Jan. 31 for the June concert.

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