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By Jonathan Emmons

If you ask most any choral singer, they will confirm this time-tested truth: Choral music has a nearly unmatched ability to bring people, even strangers, together in powerful, spiritual, ways. And so it should be no surprise that more than 54 million Americans participate in some form of civic group singing. One of Centenary’s greatest and most treasured attributes is its place in that choral tradition, and since joining Centenary's staff in 2019, I have been undergirded by the belief that Centenary is strategically situated to be an even stronger center for choral singing, a place where song nurtures worship life, where choral music reaches outside our church walls to build community in Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Triad, and beyond.

This year, our annual Festival of Lessons and Carols moves us further toward that vision. Our Chancel Choir and orchestra will be joined by various other Centenary ensembles - Carillonneurs, West End Ringers, and our reformed children's choirs - Carol Choir and Cathedral Choir. In addition, we are delighted to again welcome the Winston Salem Girls' Chorus, celebrating their 23rd season and reemergence from a COVID hiatus. For the first time, we are eager to welcome the Salem College Chamber Choir and Academy Glee Club as the College celebrates its 250th Anniversary!

Choral singing builds bridges, mends divisions, strengthens alliances, and heals traumas. This, too, is the message at the heart of the Christmas story, of Christ coming into the world. So join us on Sunday, December 12, as we celebrate Jesus' birth. Join us as we open our doors, extending our welcome further into Winston-Salem. Join us as we open our hearts to God's word made flesh, that we might be transformed. 

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