What better way to get some Christmas spirit is there then by attending the annual Christmas Cantata in Bengough brought to us by the Bengough Municipal Arts Council?
The evening began with Robyn Newby and Joely Welburn blending their voices together in "Do They Know It's Christmas?" This song described different situations throughout the world calling those that have to "feed the world, let them know its Christmastime." It was a moving reminder that not all get to celebrate with gifts under the tree and plentiful food for the table.
Sixteen singers dressed in white shirts and black pants entertained the crowd with calypso style, old-time country, and traditional seasonal pieces. The Bengough Community Choir especially shone with their rendition of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and ended with "O Holy Night" that left goose bumps on my arms. This group of singers has an organizer and instigator - Connie Frisk, and is accompanied by Judy Koszman.
Two sisters, Janaya and Joely Welburn were next up. Each time I hear these young women sing, it is obvious how they have grown in voice and presence. They are a delightful duo.
Natalie Giraudier carries on a family tradition with strong vocals and guitar playing. She sang two pieces, the second being a lighthearted piece, "Yingle Bells" that had the audience laughing out loud.
After intermission, Weyburn Stars Choir took to the stage. WOW! What a performance these young men and women put on. Their Director, Colleen Weimer, seemed to have just as much fun as her choir and their pianist, Mikyla Jensen, took turns between the keyboard and a place in the choir.
Listening and watching these high school students perform was entirely entertaining. The guys were dressed in black with white ties and the girls in purples with black pants. Throughout their performance body language and action was used to compliment whatever piece they were singing, from the "Hockey Song" singing about hockey and SJHL to Santa Claus is Coming to Town, where two guys stood still while five animated young women moved around them. On more than one occasion the audience broke into spontaneous applause for these highly-talented young folks. "Grandma's Killer Fruit Cake" had everyone laughing and "I've Been Everywhere" with Saskatchewan lyrics was done with steam engine train motions. All of it was entertaining and exciting to experience.
My personal favourite was their rendition of "Halleluiah" which brought tears to my closed eyes. It swept me out of the Community Centre and into a winter's night with snow lightly falling. It was awesome.
Needless to say, there was a standing ovation for the young men and women who captivated the audience at the completion of their presentation.
And how can one have such a wonderful evening without dessert and apple cider? BMAC provided an amazing variety of sweets and dainties along with hot apple cider.
There were prizes galore and the winners were: Barb Smith - the plant door prize, Marcia Zabolotney, Ila Leflar, Annette Coubrough, Eileen Gee, Linda Klemenz, Marc Giraudier, Kathy Gudnason, Robyn Newby, Betty Anderson, Wanda Eberle, Donna Morris, and Ann Hagen.