BEEVILLE – It will be sounding a lot like Christmas at Faith Lutheran Church on Sunday, Dec. 8, when Faith Lutheran Church hosts the 42nd annual “It’s Beginning To Sound A Lot Like Christmas” Advent Music Festival.
This concert, which begins at 3 p.m., is one of the area’s first holiday concerts of the Christmas season, and certainly one of the oldest and longest running holiday traditions in our community. Normally the concert is held on the first Sunday in December, but when the first Sunday falls on Thanksgiving weekend, as it did this year, the concert is moved to the second Sunday in December.
The Advent Music Festival was first held at Faith Lutheran Church in 1977, the year the church first opened their doors. However, the event actually dates back to 1955 when someone in Beeville had the idea bringing the communities church choirs together for an afternoon of music and celebration of the Advent season. This was long before area churches did ecumenical events together, and it is safe to say that this “out of the box” thinking probably had many skeptics back in 1955.
“This would have been back when folks stayed in their own churches and didn’t get together with other congregations in the community, as we do today,” said FLC Pastor Gary Conklin. “However, here we are 64 years later and the Advent Music Festival is still going strong.”
Over the years, many changes have taken place such as adding praise and worship groups and soloists in addition to a name change to open the concert to both Advent and Christmas music.
“We try to be open and welcome to change at Faith,” said Pastor Conklin, “and this attitude has kept this special concert going. In fact, the changes always work out great, and I think it is the changes to the concert that has kept it fresh and new! For many area families this concert is tradition that marks the beginning of the holiday season. Each year we have several individuals in attendance that have attended every single Advent Music Festival since 1977.”
Performances at the Advent Music Festival include choirs, vocal soloists, praise and worship bands, guitar groups and instrumental soloist. Confirmed participants for this year’s concert include Faith Lutheran Church Choir, St. James Catholic Church Choir, First Presbyterian Church Choir, Bethlehem Baptist Missionary Church Choir, Bethlehem Baptist Youth Choir, More Four Hymn from Friendship Baptist Church, soloist Sarahlynne Prewitt from Beeville First United Methodist Church, Bob Hamilton from First Christian Church, Faith Lutheran’s Praise Band Crossways, the Beeville Men’s Chorus and A.C. Jones Trojan Choir.
In addition, there will be performances by students who take lessons from Faith Lutheran’s organist Pat Coffee. The Beeville Men’s Chorus and the A.C. Jones Trojan Choir will once again close out the afternoon with finale performances.
“It is extremely rare to have this many churches come together for any kind celebration, and what better way to celebrate and prepare for the Advent of Christmas?” said concert coordinator Jim Stevenson. “And the talent and performances are simply amazing.”
Everyone in the community is invited to this free ecumenical afternoon of wonderful music and worship.