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18th Annual Christmas Concert at St. Anthony's Church (VIDEO)

St. Anthony's choirs and chamber orchestra filled the air with Christmas cheer for a packed house on Friday night.

Local residents and parishioners alike gathered at Nanuet’s Church of Saint Anthony on Friday night to enjoy a festive musical celebration of Christmas. The concert  was the parish’s 18th annual Christmas show, and featured the adult and children’s choir as well as a chamber orchestra.

Playing to a packed house, St. Anthony’s Director of Music Lisa Chen led the 45 member choir in a mix of traditional and contemporary arrangements including "I Wonder as I Wander" and "Anthem of Peace."

“We love very much if the community can come and join us with our music and praise God together,” said Chen. She and the other choir members are also excited as this is the first concert at which she played a new Allen organ recently acquired by the church. Its purchase was made possible by St. Anthony’s pastor and donations from the congregation.

“This is a brand new organ, being used for the concert. And we’re excited to have it because they just changed it,” said Choir Member Pedro Estrada. Estrada added that he has been a member of St. Anthony’s for nearly two decades and that he is especially proud of the parish’s musical tradition.

Manning the ticket table was Barbara Peters, who was equally excited to be involved in the event.

“When I grew up in my family, you worked in the church, that’s just what you did; so I was very pleased when I came here to see that it was a very active church and I could still get involved, because even if I’m not singing I can still help out,” said Peters. She also noted that Saint Anthony offers more shows during the year and that the Parish Players will be putting on a musical in the spring.

“We’re going to be doing the Music Man this year April 20, 21 and 22. It’s a tremendous amount of fun and it’s my first year directing so I’m very excited,” said Peters. She added that everyone should keep an eye on the parish bulletin for more events such as the Saint Joseph’s feast and a Saint Anthony’s feast in June.

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