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Chorale to present tree-themed concert Dec. 11 

The Blair Concert Chorale will celebrate the holiday season in song. “Lovely Are Thy Branches” is an evening ranging from choral selections from the ages interspersed with favorite carols to some contemporary favorites.

“Lovely Are Thy Branches” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11 at The Sanctuary at ArtsAltoona Center, 2212 Sixth Ave.

The Blair Concert Chorale, numbering over 30 singers, will perform a full program of memorable selections centering around the universal symbol of the tree.

The program will begin with “We’re Gonna Decorate the Christmas Tree.” Pittsburgh harpist Alice Statham who will accompany the chorale in “Lullay, Little Child,” “Little Tree” and “Still, Still Night,” based on “Silent Night.”

The Chorale also will present selections as “Bring a Torch,” “Jeannette Isabella,” the traditional German Christmas melody, “Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen (Lo, How a Rose E’re Blooming),” “Solstice” by John Purifoy, and the perennial favorite, Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” as well as favorite carols, such as “What Child Is This?,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.”

The Blair Concert Chorale is under the direction of Christopher Bartley, who became artistic director of the chorale in May 2020. However, due to the pandemic, this is the first season that he is conducting in front of an audience. He is music director and instructor of music at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg where he conducts the Pitt-Greensburg Chorale and Chamber Singers.

Statham, 20, a Centre County native, is a rising senior harp performance major at Carnegie Mellon University. She studied with Curtis Institute alum, Anne Sullivan, and is currently studying with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen.

General admission tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for students and are available at Thompson Pharmacy (Chestnut Avenue and Hollidaysburg), online at www.eventbrite.com and at the door. Tickets for the concert are also available from any chorale member and by emailing: manager@blairconcertchorale.org.

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