WATSON -- The Livingston Parish Children’s Choirs, made up of more than 100 singers in grades K-12, put audiences in the holiday spirit with a wide variety of tasteful selections during its 28th Annual Christmas Concert on Friday, Dec. 7.
There was hardly an open seat inside the sanctuary at Live Oak United Methodist Church as families and friends came to see — and hear — what this group of singers had spent months preparing.
They got quite the holiday treat.
LPCC members performed 21 songs, not including another three that were performed by the Guys-Only Chorus, a collection of 32 male singers that was making its debut after starting up this fall.
All singers were backed up by a stringed quartet and other musicians in a concert that was recorded live.
The LPCC is divided into three groups: the Apprentice Choir, made up of children in grades K-2; the Chorus, made up of children in grades 3-9; and the Chorale, an auditioned choir made up of grades 4-12.
During Friday’s concert, each of the three choirs delivered its own performance before they all came together for a grand finale under the direction of LPCC co-founder Regina Walker.
Starting things off was the Apprentice Choir, comprised of 32 young singers who performed seven songs, including a German carol and a Mexican folk song. The youngsters ended their set with “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Cartoon Christmas” — the former a playful surprise to director Barbara Walker.
The Chorus and its 37 singers were next in line, singing “Jubilate Deo” as they slowly marched to the stage before diving into “Glory to God,” “Hodie, Christus Natus Est,” “Hine Ma Tov” and “Mary’s Little Boy Child.”
The Chorus concluded its set with one of the most popular Christmas tunes inspired by one of the famous Christmas characters — “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
After the Chorus, the men were up next, performing three songs that sent deep-throated echoes throughout the church’s sanctuary. The Guys-Only Chorus sang “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and “Silent Night” before closing with “O Mary, Don’t You Weep.”
When the men finished, all lights in the sanctuary went out as Chorale members walked to stage holding candles while singing “Alleluia.”
Once on stage, the advanced singers showed the audience why they make up one of the most acclaimed choirs in the state, flawlessly performing “Gloria,” “Christmas Canon,” “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” and “Peter Go Ring Dem Bells.”
After the Chorale closed its set with “Jingle Bell Swing,” all three choirs joined on stage for a finale of “Joy to the World” — its customary end to the annual Christmas concert.
LPCC is sponsored by grants from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, North Oaks Health System, James Drug Store, Alex & Loretta Theriot, Northside Family Pharmacy, Ochsner Baton Rouge, Entergy and from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.
Of the 107 LPCC singers, 23 have earned 2018 Honor Choir status at the district or state levels.
The next scheduled performance for the Livingston Parish Children’s Choirs will be during the Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Train Station Park on Thursday, Dec. 13, beginning at 6 p.m.