On Sunday, Dec. 15, the 35-piece Ellicottville Choir will give two performances of the newly composed cantata by Lloyd Larson, “Behold the Star.”

The first performance will be at 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church at 6360 Route 242 in Ellicottville. This concert will open with the St. Paul’s Dulcimer Choir, followed by a brief intermission before concluding with the Cantata.

The second performance will be at 7 p.m. at the United Church at 53 Elizabeth Street in the village of Ellicottville. It will open with the Celtic Group “Versatility,” and following a brief intermission will continue with the Christmas Cantata “Behold the Star.” A reception in the church hall will follow the performance.

The choir voted to give two performances this year to accommodate the growing audience and to make it possible for town merchants to attend (after closing their shops for the day). The goodwill offering that will be taken during the intermission at both performances will help to defray the cost of the music as well as contribute to the Ellicottville Community Food Pantry held at the United Church.

This year’s volunteer choir has been rehearsing for 90 minutes each Sunday since Oct. 27. Annette Ieda, the director, commented that after only four rehearsals she could tell that the choir had become a working unit of blending voices and cooperative attitudes.

“We are helping each other achieve beautiful music for the Christmas season,” she stated after rehearsal. “Music brings unity to the community, so what better way to celebrate than to bring together singers from the area so that the audience can hear the words of scripture put so beautifully into the music!”

She also added, “Directing the Community Choir has become my passion. It is one of the highlights the Advent Season for me. I am blessed to have wonderful voices and kind hearts to work with, as well as a talented accompanist, Nikki White (from East Aurora!). It is my fourth season to do this!”

“It is time to get the word out that this year’s performances are going to be outstanding, and well worth the effort to attend!  Please come and enjoy the fruits of our labors!” said Ieda.