Toronto stake shares talent in 'songs of season' musical concert

The angelic sound of nearly 100 voices warmed the hearts and brought tears of appreciation and happiness to the large audience in attendance at the Toronto Ontario Stake's 1994 annual "Songs of the Season" Christmas devotional in the stake center on Dec. 11.

With the opening prayer setting the tone, calling for the angels of heaven to add support to the evening's performers, to the closing prayer giving thanks for "the great diversity among us that has so enriched us," the audience enjoyed an evening of regal entertainment.From the cherubic voices of the Christie Ward's Primary children singing "Venivado Remos" and "Noche de Luz" in their native Spanish tongue to Lois McDonall's stately professional operatic rendition of "Mary's Lullaby" and "O, Holy Night," the evening's performances presented the singing talents of the vast ethnically diverse membership of the Toronto stake. More than 69 languages are spoken among the stake's membership. This language diversity was well represented with beautiful renditions of traditional Christmas carols in Chinese, English, Korean and Spanish, representing the several ethnic wards of the stake.

Sister McDonall, for 15 years the principal soprano of the English National Opera in Europe, is currently a professor of music at the University of Toronto. Among her students is Roxy Nelson, director of music for the Toronto stake. Sister Nelson was accompanied by Sister McDonall for her solo rendition of "I Wonder As I Wander."

Other talented soloists included Jamaican-born Chris McPherson, rendering "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"; Laurie Noble singing "Out of the East"; and Patricia Neal's "Huron Carol."

In his Christmas message, Stake Pres. Terry Harrison told the choir members: "Never lose your voices, brothers and sisters. Your voices make us happy and joyous this time of year." Then to stake members he said, "Let this joyful singing that has so enriched us be a part of our great diversity all year long, to witness the angels singing, to witness our love of Jesus Christ, and of His birth during this joyous time of the year."

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