Collin Anderson
Bella Voce performs at the Neldon C. Mathews Auditorium in Panaca.

It’s the Christmas season, which for many in Lincoln County means a favorite holiday tradition: Bella Voce.

This year, the volunteer group of singers and performers put on their annual concert with the theme “The Magical Sounds of Christmas.” Hundreds of people from around the county and beyond came to witness this yuletide celebration of music over two nights (Dec. 20-21).

As the choir took to the stage at the Neldon C. Matthews Auditorium in Panaca, there was a moment of reflection when one of the choir members thanked the audience for coming and reminded them of one of their singers who would no longer be in attendance – Marty Bushman, who passed away this past year. Therefore, the show was dedicated to Marty.

The first song was a whimsical one, introducing the song “The Toyland Express” and setting the upbeat tone for the first part of the show. “Thirty Seconds of Fa La La” came next, followed by the song “Believe,” arranged by Mark Hayes and made famous by the movie “The Polar Express.” “Glow” was the next song, reflecting upon the almost magical way winter awakens all over the world as fresh snow falls to the ground, glowing as it reflects light.

The uplifting “Christmas Bells” was next. And, what would a Christmas concert be without the classic “Carol of the Bells,” which rang melodiously throughout the theater.

“See, Among the Winter Snow” was the next piece the choir performed, and as they finished up, most of the choir retired backstage. Before the intermission, however, Karina Katschke sang “Ave Maria,” celebrating the Virgin Mary and her significance in the life of Jesus Christ.

Following the intermission, the choir warmed up by performing the song “Here I Am, Lord.” Then it was on to the main event, “The Messiah,” which is made up of nine songs. Each song represents the time that Jesus Christ was upon the earth and follows his birth, life, death and resurrection.

While this is not the final year Bella Voce will be performing, it will be without the direction of Klark Black for the next two years, as he and his wife will be leaving to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Ukraine.