Christmas Cantata organizes for 2017 performances

The first rehearsal for the 2017 Central Montana Christmas Cantata will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27.

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 Ave. South.

The annual ecumenical Cantata is returning to Central Montana for the 18th time. Each year, the 66-voice Cantata choir has performed to full-house audiences. The choir has included members of more than a dozen area churches.

This year, two local choir directors return to direct the Cantata. Chris Hildebrant, Fergus High School choral director, and elementary music educator Rachael Schwaller will lead this year’s community choir.

The directors have already chosen music and will be ready for the first rehearsal on the 27th.

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 27th.”

Byerly said the 2017 Cantata is taking shape. “We are really pleased at the response in the community to the Cantata’s return and at the enthusiasm our directors are bringing. They did a wonderful job last year.”

This year’s Cantata will be held Sunday, Dec. 3 (two shows) and Monday, Dec. 4, 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; Bostrom, 535-2272; or the First Presbyterian Church, 538-3728; email:



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