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Salem Lutheran to present Christmas Cantata

Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

Salem Creative Arts Ministry welcomes the community to music-filled worship at 5 p.m. Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday as an inspirational Christmas cantata is shared to celebrate the birth of Christ.

“The Promise of Light” Christmas cantata, written by Joel Raney, blends traditional carols with original music to tell the timeless story of Jesus’ birth, God’s eternal gift of light for the world. Worship will begin with the lighting of the Advent wreath and move into the cantata. Holy Communion will be shared to complete worship and all are welcome at the Lord’s Table.

“The Promise of Light” features Salem adult, youth and children’s voices with an instrumental ensemble from Sounds of Grace Bells, Denny Vaupel on synthesizer, Brandon Weber on bass guitar, Michael Kasper on percussion, and Ron and Todd Vanatta performing 4-hand piano. Composer Joel Raney chose this instrumentation to give the work a pulsating world-music flavor “with a sparkle of handbells and a shimmering 4-hand piano score.” His use of light to illumine the birth of Christ narrative centers on the Bible’s reference to light more than 230 times, alluded to in narrations shared by Jim Sauber and others.

The cantata is directed by Carla Vanatta, Salem associate in ministry, and is sponsored as a Singing Memorial by the families and friends of Les Anderson, Art Gilmore and Robert Kamm.

Familiar tunes woven with original music include “O Come, O come, Emmanuel,” “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “While Shepherds Watched, Angels We Have Heard on High,” “Away in a Manger,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World,” “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” “Silent Night,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.”

Salem Lutheran Church is a handicapped-accessible congregation of the ELCA located at 1145 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, with ample parking. More information is available at 815-895-9171 or www.salemsycamore.org.

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