Six Christmas concerts offered through December

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Wed., Nov. 28, 2012
Due to increased demand, 'Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Christmas Musical' will offer a sixth concert this year. Contributed photos. - Contributed Photo

This Christmas season, Trinity Covenant Church of Manchester presents “Good Tidings of Great Joy: A Christmas Musical.” This is the 28th year Trinity has presented this Christmas program, and they will be offering six concerts during the month of December.

Steven Nielson, director of worship and music at Trinity Covenant Church, describes the music as “popular contemporary Christmas music.” There will be a choir of 100 singers, an orchestra of 35, a children's choir, soloists and a live nativity on stage. The orchestra will feature members of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, members of the Manchester Pipe Band will give a bagpipe performance. Nielson said that participants are not all from Trinity. “We open it up to people from all over,” he said.

Returning attendees will be delighted to find some fresh songs alongside their old favorites this year. “Sometimes we repeat a program from year to year,” said Nielson. This year, however, will feature plenty of new material. “This is not a repeat,” he said.

Alongside new pieces, the audience will recognize some familiar songs, including "O Holy Night," "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," performed by a choir.

The program will be held at RHAM High School, located at 85 Wall St., in Hebron. The event was originally one annual concert held at Trinity, but when the audience size outgrew the church, they moved the concert to Manchester High School, where they held the performance for a number of years. As the program gained popularity, they found themselves having to turn people away at the door as they reached capacity. In response, they added a second concert. When both concerts filled up, they added more and more.

“We got up to four [concerts per year] at Manchester High School,” said Nielson. This will be their fifth year at RHAM. A couple years ago, they added a fifth concert to accommodate demand, which, again, proved insufficient. Last year, between 400 and 500 people were turned away. This year marks the first time they will be having six concerts. They expect more than 4,000 attendees this year.

The concerts are free to attend, though donations will be accepted. “Trinity and those of us involved in the concerts consider this a gift to the community,” said Nielson. “But we do accept donations. Last year, we took a portion of donations and gave them to charitable foundations. This year, we've decided that we'll take 30 percent and forward it to Storm Sandy relief. It will go to Christian agencies that have 'boots on the ground' in those areas.”

Concerts are Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 15, at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Attendees are advised to arrive early. For more information, call 860-649-2855 or visit

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