Catherine Coke and her musical friends will present the 23nd Annual Advent Recital at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 20 at Altus ’First Presbyterian Church, 208 East Cypress. The concert is free and open to the public, everyone is welcome, nursery provided, with a reception of cider and goodies after the concert.
The Advent Recital series began as an opportunity for Presbyterian Choir Director Catherine Coke and her musical friends from other churches, other cities and states, to share the vast wealth of Christmas music in presenting a musical message of the Bethlehem baby in a manger with the community. A special treat this year will be a performance by the Altus High School Chorale, directed by Stephanie Wall. This year’s theme centers around “A Night of Wonder….”, and mixes traditional, classical, secular, old and new, songs of the Christmas season. The “musical friends” are the Honorable Judge Clark Huey (piano), Monte Clason (piano and organ), Russell Weber (trumpet), Rick Stebbens (violin), Kenneth Ward (bass guitar), with vocalists Coke, Dr. Christina Hope Wilson, Manda Stephens, John Morrow, Martha Miller, Stephanie Wall and the Altus High School Chorale. “Once again,” says Coke, one of the original core group—Dr. Christina Hope Wilson from Abilene, Texas, Dean of the School of Arts and Letters and Associate Professor of Music at McMurry College——returns to join with the other musical friends.”
The Advent concert begins with the untraditional “In This Very Room” and ends with the concert’s traditional “O, Holy Night.” The AHS Chorale will perform in the first portion of the concert. ‘’Altus has many gifted, college-trained, talented, accomplished musicians and there is something about a ‘live’ performance that brings the soul of the music to the surface for the listener. Come and enjoy a free evening on the town, and may the music of the season transport you to Bethlehem’’, says Coke.