By Collin Anderson

Plato once said, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”

Bella Voce of Lincoln County once again brought life to the Christmas season with its annual holiday concert held last weekend at the Neldon C. Mathews Center in Panaca. The concert was free to attend with donations accepted at the door.

The concert began with introductions by the group’s director, Klark Black. He began by thanking the audience for coming, as well as thanking the members of the choir for their help in setting up the concert. He specifically mentioned Marty Buschman, who had, in his words, been his “right-hand man” during the preparations. He continued to express his gratitude for the accompaniment provided by Karen Culverwell and Jessica Truman, as well as the assistance of many others.

With those acknowledgements, we heard our first few numbers. The audience was silent as we were guided through a selection of songs from Handel’s “Messiah.” This piece of musical history was written by one of the greatest musical minds of his time, and the voices of Bella Voce did it justice.

With few breaks, the choir finished these select few songs (the actual “Messiah” contains 53 songs and could take up hours to hear in its entirety) with the awe-inspiring “Hallelujah.” As the final notes were sung, the audience finally received their chance to applaud the choir for their performance so far, after which we were given a short intermission before the second act.

The latter half of the concert was filled with emotional pieces dedicated to the birth of Christ, all of which were expertly performed. The highlights of the concert included “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, which depicts the way that the message of the nativity and was able to spread from a few quiet words on the wind all the way to kings and their subjects, describing the way that Jesus’ message has been able to reach every ear. The audience was pleased to hear the “Carol of the Bells,” a favorite song of the season. These songs and more were presented with care and devotion by the members of the choir, and by the end of it all, the message of the night was easy to see: that there is hope because a baby was born in Bethlehem.

Overall, the concert was well put together, and every member of the choir did their part in entertaining and uplifting the audience.