Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir presents their annual Christmas concert Dec. 6 at Lehman Auditorium at Eastern Mennonite University. (Photo by Michael Sheeler)

Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir joins Staunton Academy of Ballet for annual Christmas concert

The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir presents “Angels Sing,” a Christmas concert with the Staunton Academy of Ballet at 4 p.m., Dec. 6 at Lehman Auditorium at Eastern Mennonite University.

All three choirs will perform a variety of seasonal music and Christmas carols, followed by an audience sing-along. Among the combined selections are “And Suddenly,” by Michael Engelhardt and “The First Noel,” an English carol arranged by Dan Forrest. Other selections include French carols, several other traditional English carols, and a traditional African carol.

The Concert Choir will perform more advanced pieces, including “Susanni” and “Welcome Yule” from “Salvator Mundi: A Carol Sequence,” “What Child is This?” “Still, Still, Still,” “Gaudete!” and “Hodie, Alleluia,”

The choir is joined by several guest artists, including four professors. Joan Griffing, of Eastern Mennonite University, plays the violin and is concertmaster of the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra and the Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. Three others come from James Madison University’s music department: Edward Gant, cello; Pedro Aponte, flute; and Michael Overman, percussion. Also joining as special guests are Gregory Childress, viola; Ethan Zook, oboe; Tara Davis, violin; and Matthew Pariejko, percussion.

The choir is directed by Janet Hostetter and assisted by Joy Anderson. Pianists are Maurita Eberly and Tracey Schimmel Reed. Professor John Fast, recently retired from Eastern Mennonite University and longtime SVCC supporter, will play the organ.

In its 24th year, SVCC is a choral performance program at EMU for children ages 5-18. To schedule an appointment for an audition, call 432-4650 or email

Editor’s note: As of Dec. 3, the concert is sold out. To be added to a wait list, call the EMU box office at 540-432-4582 (Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m).