Wyalusing Candlelight Service Dedicated to Met Williams
By David Keeler
It’s a Wyalusing Christmas tradition that dates back well over a half-century.
The Wyalusing Musical Society’s annual Christmas Candlelight service at the Presbyterian Church showcases some of the community’s most gifted musicians and singers performing Yuletide classics. This year’s service is set to take place on Sunday, Dec. 18 beginning at 5 p.m. The popular Christmas event usually fills the church to capacity.
Sunday’s service will be held in memory of the late Met Williams, a musical society member who not only helped organize the annual candlelight service for many years, but also participated as a performer and choir director.
Nancy Wilson, President of the Wyalusing Musical Society, will present welcoming remarks and also play the organ prelude at the start of the service.
Those performing will include: a Community Children’s Choir, singing Silent Night; Nancy Bendinsky, ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime; Kirstyn Ballard, Breath of Heaven; Adam Brigham, O Holy Night; (Brigham is the 2011 recipient of the Arion Award presented annually by the Wyalusing Musical Society to a high school junior who excels in music); Dennis Kochenash, scripture reading; Valerie Bolinger, Christmas in Heaven; Loren Welles, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring; Margaret Dabback and Marilyn Dibble, Joy to the World; Brendon Hitchcock, Christmas Shoes, and the Wyalusing Swing Choir, What Child is This.
An annual highlight of the event will come when the congregation joins with the Swing Choir and Choraliers to sing Christmas in Our Valley, the words of which were written by William W. Keeler. The Choraliers is a vocal group formed by Keeler in the 1960’s.
The program closes with the congregation joining to sing Silent Night.
A collection taken during the service will be shared by the Wyalusing Musical Society and Loaves and Fishes Ministry. Reverend Penney Rahm will lead the dedication of gifts.
Rev. Dr. Barry Ballard will conduct the benediction and pianist Diana Black will play the Postlude, Rise up Shepherd and Follow.
Officers of the Wyalusing Musical Society include Nancy Wilson, President; Cathy Keeney, Vice-President; Margaret Dabback, Secretary; Marti Keeney, Treasurer, and Nancy Potter, Federation Secretary.