BATAVIA — Warm up you vocal pipes. It the time of the season to spread holiday cheer.
And once again The Daily News of Batavia and The Livingston County News are provided an opportunity to do just that with a sing-along holiday concert.
This is the fourth year the newspapers will be putting on its “Christmas-Sing” Christmas Carol Concert. This year’s performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Batavia First Presbyterian, 300 East Main St. There will be about 11 songs.
This year the papers are partnering with Lauren Picarro Hoerbelt, who has been teaching in Batavia since 1999.
Hoerbelt’s students, who range in age from 9 to adults, will sing Christmas carols to the community. Jocelyn Coburn will be featured in a solo version of “O’Holy Night.” Lisa Gilebarto will be accompanying on the piano.
Hoerbelt and her students joined the project this year after the passing of Wendy Williams in May. Williams and her students had been part of the first three concerts.
Williams’ former students have also been asked to participate in Friday’s concert, so there will be a handful of those students up front along with Hoerbelt’s students.
A songbook, featuring the songs and lyrics, is included in today’s print editions of The Daily News and the Geneseo-based Livingston County News.
The songbook features both music and lyrics for more than a dozen holiday favorites, including “Silent Night,” “God Rest You Merry Gentleman,” “Jingle Bells,” “Oh Holy Night,” and “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.” The songs are accompanied by notes about the style of singing. These descriptions include “traditional,” “reverently,” “with spirit,” “expressively,” “quickly,” and “not too slow.”
For those who cannot attend in person, the concert will be available to watch as a livestream on both The Daily News and Livingston County News Facebook pages.
The annual concert was first presented in 2019 at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia. The 2020 concert was virtual, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live, in-person performances returned in 2021 with a concert from West Bethany Baptist Church.
Inspiration for the concert came after a customer brought in a song book which had been published in The Daily News about 1991. The paper thought it would be great to once again include a holiday song book and renew a seasonal tradition.
Soon after, the idea of a free public caroling event — inspired by one in Chicago — developed in partnership with Sound Foundations, the voice studio operated by Williams.
Admission to the concert is free, though free-will offerings will be accepted on behalf of a scholarship in Williams’ name that will be awarded to a music student.