Classic Christmas start at historic rural church with orchestra & choir

CHURDAN, Iowa, Dec. 3, 2018 — What a fine late-afternoon of music on Sunday, Dec. 2, at historic St. Patrick’s-Cedar Oratory in the northwest corner of our Greene County.

The All Strings Attached Orchestra & Choir from neighboring Carroll presented its annual Christmas Cantata, this year titled “Sing Joy To All The World,” arranged by Lloyd Larson and orchestrated by Ed Hogan.

The former Catholic Church was decorated beautifully and was the perfect setting for this concert to start the Christmas season.

Fierce winds, blowing snow and biting cold made travel hazardous, but the reputation of the cantatas at St. Patrick’s is so good the church was still nearly full for the hour-long show.

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The Christmas Cantata on Sunday late-afternoon at the rural St. Patrick’s-Cedar Oratory, west of Churdan in northwest Greene County IA.

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Andy Geisler, of the St. Patrick’s community, served as master of ceremonies for the concert.


Narrators for the Christmas Cantata were Randy Anderson and C.J. Niles.

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The All Strings Attached Orchestra & Choir performed with 26 instrumentalists and 16 singers, directed by Jake Gute, of Carroll. The musicians come from 30 different communities in west central and northwest Iowa. Those large, poofy snowflakes were handmade from white paper lunch bags by the people of the St. Patrick’s-Cedar community, and were hung from the ceiling throughout the sanctuary.

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Outside beautiful St. Patrick’s-Cedar Oratory in the Iowa countryside.

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A small but stunning Nativity set in St. Patrick’s-Cedar.

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