The Columbia County Choral Society will celebrate the birth of Christ with its eighth annual Christmas concert at First Baptist Church of Evans on Friday.
The concert, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., is titled O Magnum Mysterium after the Renaissance-era sacred Latin carol by Toms Luis de Victoria.
O Magnum Mysterium, Latin for O Most Awesome Mystery, recounts the mystery of Christ's birth, said Susan Osborn, the executive directory of the choral society. The society also will perform a second version by University of Southern California composer Morten Johannes Lauridsen.
"One of the things I hear all the time sitting in the audience is you don't hear a lot of choral music anymore," Osborn said. "Even in churches it's become a lot of canned music.
"We have a lot of the choral music where you're actually going to hear the vocal parts," she said. "That's the emphasis of our music, rather than the instruments."
The choral society will be accompanied by piano and organ for some songs, but many will be a cappella renditions of classic, sacred Christmas carols.
Other arrangements include pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach and Antonio Vivaldi and Christmas classics such as O Holy Night, Silent Night and Ding Dong! Merrily on High.
Osborn said choral director W. Issac Holmes carefully chose the carols for the evening for their religious significance and beauty.
Holmes said he made his selections to match "the ability of the group as well as some selections that are good and encouraging and fit for the season."
Holmes, an associate professor of music at Paine College, has been the director for about three years.
"The acoustics at First Baptist of Evans lend themselves so well to the choral sound," Osborn said. "You can sit on the back row and hear everything. There's not a bad seat in the house. People who really enjoy the sound of choral music I think will really enjoy the blending of the different parts."
Tickets, available at the door or through society members, are $10 for students and seniors and $15 for general admission. For more information call 650-2311.
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