As a child I started getting excited about Christmas when we would hear carols on the car radio — I think it must have been a time when the commercial world actually waited until after Thanksgiving to start revving up the holiday shopping season engines ... or I was too young to pay attention to commercials and such.
So, holiday music has always been the “go” sign for me when it comes to Christmas. And one of the Rim Country’s most wonderful clarions of Christmas is the Payson Choral Society’s annual holiday concert. This year the concert, “A Joyous Noel,” will be presented at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 at the Payson High School auditorium.
The Payson Choral Society, directed by Daria Mason with accompaniment by Victoria Harris, has been practicing since early August. The members have practiced every Monday night at the Payson United Methodist Church to blend 73 voices into a sound that some say rivals that produced by professionals.
The concert this year will feature something for everyone, said Payson Choral Society President John Landino. The program will be fairly lighthearted and includes African songs, traditional and classical Christmas songs and gospel music. Jack Irvine said the program would include: “African Noel,” the gospel song “You Raise Me Up,” the popular carol from the movie “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and the more classic carol, “Gloria.”
The program also features several solo and duet performances. Karyn Nelsen and Joe Salas will do “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” Pat Watson will sing “You Raise Me Up,” Jennifer Baltz and Sharon Collins will present “We Need a Little Christmas,” and Mike Snively and Jeff Rushlow will do “Mystery.”
Concert tickets are $8 for adults, students and children are free. Tickets may be purchased in advance from choral society members, The Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and at the library. Tickets will also be available at the door before each concert. Proceeds from the concerts provide musical scholarships to middle school and high school students. These are awarded each year at the group’s annual spring concert.