Mark your calendars for two memorable holiday performances on Sunday, Dec. 21. The Christmas Cantata features a choir of 50-plus members, and represents a spiritual celebration of the season with “The Christmas Story” in song.

Choir members have been rehearsing diligently for the past few weeks under the direction of Annette Ieda, who has been directing the Cantata since 2010.

Ieda said, “It is a real thrill to be conducting such a large and talented group of voices.”

This year’s choir, up in attendance by about 30 members from last year’s group, is comprised of singers from the Salamanca, Ellicottville and the surrounding area.

The first performance will be held at United Congregational Methodist Church at 134 Broad St. in Salamanca, at 3 p.m. on Dec. 21. Refreshments will be served after the concert.

The second performance takes place at 7 p.m. at Holy Name of Mary RC Church, at 22 Jefferson St. in Ellicottville. This concert will open with the Celtic group, Versatility, followed by a brief intermission, before concluding with the Cantata. Refreshments will also be offered after the event.

The concerts are free, but a collection will be taken to help with the cost of music and to contribute to the food pantry in Ellicottville.

“The bigger group, the larger facility, the beautiful music we picked, and the wonderful quality of the choir’s voices are all contributing to making the event a very magical experience,” Ieda stated. “I am very blessed to be the director of such a dedicated group of singers.”