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St Johns Southgate

20 Nov 2012

It’s almost Christmas and things are singing at St Johns Southgate. What’s more, you can join in.

Locals and visitors from near and far are always welcome at St Johns but at Christmas there is even more on offer to send spirits soaring with words and music.

Just two days before Christmas, on Sunday, December 23, St Johns Bach Choir and Orchestra will present J.S. Bach’s big festive cantata, Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ (BWV 91), which features four soloists, strings, three oboes, two horns, timpani and continuo.

The cantata is based on an old German chorale (Blessed art thou, Jesus Christ), which the congregation will sing as part of the Eucharist service that day.

The work was significant for Bach. It was composed for his first Christmas at Leipzig after his appointment as Thomaskantor there in 1723 and the records suggest he was pleased with what he had done, showing he performed the cantata himself four more times.

Next evening, of course, is Christmas Eve, which will also be alive with music. Before the service, at 7.10pm, there will be carols on the concourse outside St Johns.  Be there to add your voice.

In the service itself will be readings, poems and more singing, led by a four-part choir and including music from Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. The choice of carols by Britten is timely because next year is the 100th anniversary of the British composer’s birth.

Also included will be a special activity for children and St Johns hopes many local children will attend and participate.

And then, of course, the feast of joyous music continues on Christmas Day, with Dr Graham Lieschke at the keyboard of St Johns’ treasured Smenge pipe organ.

Above and through all of the great words and music at St Johns is threaded the magnificent Christmas message.

Neither the message nor the music stop. For more details on the program, service times or other activities at the church in the heart of Southbank, you can contact St Johns on 9682 4995.

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