On Dec. 20 and 21, Lincoln County played host to one of its most popular musical groups, Bella Voce.
Dozens of the county’s citizens gathered to celebrate the holiday spirit at the Neldon C. Mathews Auditorium, and the voices of Bella Voce did not disappoint. The group, which is led by Klark W. Black, is made up of local singers and has entertained the community for years.
Its most popular concert is the one held during December each year to celebrate Christmas and the wonderful time of year that comes with it. Along with the choir, attendees were pleased to hear from its accompanists, ShaRee Mathews and Karen Culverwell, whose musical talent matched the voices on the stage, combining into one beautiful experience to behold. Of course, Black could not do this without the assistance of his talented managers, Kathy Cook and Michele Smith, both of whom were instrumental (pun intended) in the success of this concert.
The experience started when Black thanked the audience members for their attendance. As they began with their first song, “The Christmas Story,” the auditorium filled with excitement and joy as the story of Jesus’ birth was retold in musical form. Each song after was a pleasure to hear, with some of them containing solos to help enhance the experience. These soloists included Karina Katchke, Dylan Frehner and Jeremy Avery. There was also a very impressive piano duet conducted by Karen Culverwell and ShaRee Mathews, titled “Sing We Now at Christmas.”
The concert ended too soon with the arrival of the famed ode to the birth of Christ, the “Hallelujah Chorus.” As tradition dictates, the audience stood as the famous song was put on full display by the talented choir. Many do not know the origin of this tradition, which is expected each time the song is sung. According to some accounts, while attending a performance of “The Messiah,” the work from which the Hallelujah Chorus is taken, King George II of England was so impressed by the message of the song that he stood. As it was expected for anyone in the presence of the king to stand when he does, the crowd rose to its feet as well.