Oratorio society's winter concert

Jan. 7, in Newton

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  • Oratorio's outgoing artistic director Al Kopacka

— “Merry and bright.” These words from the classic song, White Christmas, convey simply and succinctly what we all hope the holiday season will be like. Yet too often that simple hope gets crushed under the weight of all the “ to dos” we believe we must tackle in order to arrive at the goal of “merry and bright.” The result is a holiday season that often feels like neither.

“Merry and Bright” is the theme of the Sussex County Oratorio Society's winter concert at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, January 7 at the First United Methodist Church, 111 Ryerson Avenue, Newton. Come enjoy a welcome, relaxing break after the holiday rush and join us as we celebrate this beautiful season with songs ranging from classical works such as Vivaldi's Gloria and Domenico Cimarosa's Magnificat to lighter pieces such as Winter Wonderland and a wacky send-up of Jingle Bells.

Guest soloists and instrumentalists featuring woodwinds, strings, and percussion will all add to the festive atmosphere. Of course, there will be an audience sing-along as well. Funding has been made available, in part, by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Block Grant Program, as administered by the Sussex County Arts and Heritage Council.

This concert will be bittersweet for Oratorio members as it will be the last one conducted by long-time artistic director, Al Kopacka and accompanied by his wife, Vicki, since they will be moving this coming year. In a previous interview, Kopacka said it was his hope that, even if he were no longer artistic director, the Oratorio Society would continue far into the future. We thank them for their years of leadership and dedication and wish them all the best as we welcome our new director, Joe Piccirillo.

General admission tickets are $15 or $10 for seniors and students. For more information about the Sussex County Oratorio Society go to www.sussexoratorio.org or follow us on Facebook.

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