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Metro Creative photo

St. Andrew’s United Church presents ‘The Wondrous Story’

St. Andrew’s United Church’s choir is excited to be presenting a Christmas cantata called The Wondrous Story at the Dec. 11 service, which starts at 10:30 a.m.

“It’s been a tradition at our church that on one of the Sundays during Advent we put on a Christmas cantata,” explained Leanne Oslund, the church’s choir director.

Essentially, it features storytelling, readings, and music – Oslund described it as comparable to a musical but without the acting.

“The cantata features the choir from our church, plus some extra guests,” she explained of the production, which was written by Nancy Price and Don Besig.

Oslund has directed many of the church’s Christmas cantatas over the year, except for a space of five years when the family relocated to Rocky Mountain House.

“I’ve been directing choirs since I was about 18 – kids choirs, youth choirs, adult choirs, and community choirs. I’m a music teacher at St. Gregory the Great School in Blackfalds, too, so it’s definitely a passion.

“I love getting groups of people together singing – it’s heartwarming. It hits one’s emotions so much. In church, we try to do songs that really flow with the rest of the service – that are meaningful.

“Really, (music) is just so fulfilling. It’s really about bringing joy to people – the fact that people can get together is also something of a stress-reliever…it’s just so many things,” she said.

Melding her love for music with the Christmas season is that much more fulfilling.

“It’s a joyous season. There are so many things going on – concerts, caroling, and the lights displayed everywhere during a time when a lot of colour is gone from the world at this time of year. It all just adds so much joy to the season,” she explained.

“It can also be so peaceful at times, too. You have that excitement, but you can also know those peaceful times as well.”

As for the coming cantata, Oslund hopes that listeners discover a fresh sense of inspiration.

“It has a nice variety of music, so hopefully at least one song in there will touch each person’s heart,” she said, adding that The Wondrous Story is composed of original songs, but the choir will be performing various carols throughout the performance as well.

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