Minot's Heritage Singers will present their 33rd annual Festival of Lessons and Carols on Sunday at 4 p.m. at First Lutheran Church of Minot.
The format of this concert is nearing 100 years old, having started in Cambridge, England, in 1918. It always includes nine Scripture lessons from Genesis through the Gospels that foretell and celebrate the birth of Christ.
Surrounding these sacred texts will be an ambitious selection of traditional carols with unique arrangements and lively rhythmic songs from Hebrew and Nigerian culture. Dan Forrest's arrangement of "The First Noel" and a favorite of many, "Still, Still, Still" help provide the quiet, peaceful side of the concert. Another such favorite is the modern tune, "Mary Did You Know?"
"El Yivneh Hagalil," Hebrew for "God will build Galilee" adds a Middle Eastern beat and a sense of yearning to the Christmas message while the boisterous Nigerian "Betelehemu" provides a distinctly African beat and grand sense of celebrating the city of Jesus's birth, the "city of wonder."
Other Heritage Singers favorites like "Child of God" and the classic "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" will help round out the concert, traditionally held on the Sunday preceding Christmas.
Principal director Mark Schnabel will be joined by his associate directors Dave and Mike Jensen and Richard Anderson. Lynn Jensen is the group's longstanding accompanist.
A freewill offering will be taken to support the Young Men's Choral Festival to be held at Minot State University.