The Singing Boys of Pennsylvania and Keystone Girls Choir will present the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Friday December 20th, Saturday December 21st, and Sunday December 22nd at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ in Belfast PA. Friday and Saturday programs begin at 7:00pm, and Sunday’s program at 3:00pm.

The tradition of Nine Lessons and Carols was first held on Christmas Eve, 1918, at King’s College, Cambridge. Planned by Eric Milner White, former Dean of King’s College, the carols are interspersed between lessons drawn from the Old and New Testaments and read by individuals from the community.

This year’s program begins with the a cappella singing of “Once in Royal David’s City” by a child soloist, the same hymn used as the processional for every Lessons and Carols service at King’s College since 1919. The Singers will also perform American carols, as well as international carols from Canada, Mexico, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Flanders, Japan, Poland, Armenia, and five different counties in England. The service will also include congregational singing of classic Christmas carols such as “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” as accompanied by the church’s pipe organ. The ninth lesson will be read by Rev. Frank Gassler, pastor of St. Luke’s UCC.

St. Luke’s UCC is located at the Belfast Exit along PA Rt. 33. The church has limited seating, so advance tickets for these very special holiday performances are recommended and are now available for $5. For more information and to reserve tickets, please call 610-759-6002.

 Acclaimed in America and throughout the world for its unique talent, discipline and youthful enthusiasm, Singing Boys of Pennsylvania, founded as the Pocono Boy Singers, is available throughout the year including Christmas and summers. The company consists of young artists – aged 10 to 14 – selected from the ranks of the organization’s training choir who have been rigorously prepared for two or more years.

Performing a demanding repertoire spanning centuries from chant to contemporary works, programs frequently include sacred and secular classics, selections from opera and musical theatre, and a rich assortment of American folk music with choreography. This scrubbed family format is fast-moving and has been enthusiastically received by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, throughout Japan,as well as by critics who have applauded the choir’s imaginative and versatile programming. The remarkable proficiency which the choir brings to performances has been demonstrated in more than 3000 recitals in 48 of the American states, all the prefectures of Japan, England, Holland, Canada, Mexico, and Wales.