For the first time, a harpist will join the sounds of the Blair Concert Chorale as it offers up its annual holiday concert Saturday.
The Blair Concert Chorale will perform Benjamin Britten's "A Ceremony of Carols" at 7:30 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Altoona.
"I'm always looking forward to the concert, but I'm especially excited about this year," general manager Jane Gable said of the challenging piece selected for this year's show.
The chorale, which has about 40 members, typically performs seven to eight songs, but this year will perform Britten's major work made up of 11 movements, according to artistic director and adult choral conductor Jeffrey L. Webb.
"They will be supporting a great organization that works hard to bring solid choral music to the area," he said of why one should attend the show.
The concert offers a different repertoire every year, he said. The children's choir will open the show with about six to eight holiday favorites.
If you go
What: The Blair Concert Chorale's "A Ceremony of Carols" concert
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Altoona
Tickets: Adults, $15; children, $8
The concert is being held in memory of the late Brian Amato, a choir and church member who died two years ago.
Harpist Natalie Severson, who will join the concert this year, is a senior harp performance major at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Minnesota native said she has played the instrument for 15 years, since age seven.
When Webb asked her about performing with the group she agreed, "because I love the piece and enjoy performing with new groups," she said.
Severson has recently performed with the Mount Lebanon Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh, and as a member of a trio at Carnegie Mellon University's Kresge Recital Hall. She has also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., among other venues.
She is looking forward to performing the piece with the BCC, she said.
"Benjamin Britten's 'Ceremony of Carols' is a great work that showcases the range and colors of the harp," she said. "I hope the audience enjoys the piece and listens for the middle movement, Interlude, which is a harp solo."
Hopefully the audience leaves the show in the "holiday spirit," Webb said.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.