Eighty enthusiastic singers and musicians helped welcome Advent and the Christmas season for nearly 450 guests at two evening concerts over the first weekend in December at Humber Valley United Church in Etobicoke.

The choir’s fourth annual Christmas concerts, Rejoice O Bethlehem – Raduj Se O Betleme – were performed by members of the CCCS and its Youth Choir along with very special guests, soloist Mia Miličević and MPS Stepinac, an 11-member men’s ensemble from Zagreb. The choristers were accompanied by several talented musicians, including an organist, pianist, trumpeters, string and tambura ensembles.

Artistic Director Ed Mavrinac led the performers through a varied musical program arranged and sung in Latin, Croatian and English while Rose Lee narrated the story of the birth of Jesus as told in the Gospel of Luke. Assistant Director Julijana Hajdinjak led the Youth Choir through their program and then watched the children joyously climb into a giant sleigh to perform the always-popular Sleigh Ride, laughing all the way, of course. The growing choir is looking for more young members. Please email contact@cccschoir.com if you know someone who would be interested in joining.

Guests marveled at the rich a cappella sounds of MPS Stepinac as they enjoyed traditional Croatian songs from this talented group of young men, many of whom have been singing together since childhood. It was the group’s first visit to Canada and all were grateful for the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls and GTA landmarks and perform for their first international audiences – including giving an impromptu concert atop the CN Tower.

Audience members enthusiastically sang along to holiday favourites The First Noel and Jingle Bells/Zvončići. The concerts ended on a stirring and peaceful note as the lights were dimmed and all three choirs encircled the audience to sing Silent Night in English and Croatian.

The CCCS looks forward to performing for audiences at its spring concerts. Please check back later to see dates and locations.

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