Christmas Cantata organizes for 2016 performances

The first rehearsal for the 2016 Central Montana Christmas Cantata will be held Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Vocalists, especially basses and tenors, interested in taking part in this year’s performances are asked to attend the rehearsal, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 215 5th Avenue South.

This year, three local choir directors will direct the Cantata as past director Brandon O’Halloran is unavailable.

“I’m so glad that we are able to do the Cantata again this year,” said Chris Hildebrant, Fergus High School choral director. “The three of us look forward to trying to fill Brandon’s big shoes.”

Sharing the director’s chair with Hildebrant are elementary music educator Rachael Schwaller and long-time Cantata participant and small-group director Janie Shupe.

“I am thrilled to be able to meet more people in the community and to see what it’s like conducting adults,” said Schwaller with a smile.

The directors have already chosen music and will be ready for the first rehearsal on the 28th.

Donna Byerly, pianist for the Cantata since the first one held in 1998, stressed the importance of attending the first rehearsal.

“We are limited by space to 66 singers and the sections need to be balanced, so there are limited spots in each section,” she said. “So when a section is full, we reluctantly have to close it. So please be at the first rehearsal or contact us before the 28th.”

This year’s Cantata will be held Sunday, Dec. 4 (two shows) and Monday, Dec. 5, hosted by First Presbyterian Church. Tickets will be available around Thanksgiving.

“We are excited about the opportunity to again serve our community during the Christmas season with the collective voices of our local churches,” said Nancy Bostrom, choir director at First Presbyterian Church.

For more information, contact Byerly, 535-7136, or the First Presbyterian Church, 538-3728; email:



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