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Songs Strings and Steps presents Joy in Abbotsford

Holiday concert takes place Dec. 20 and 21 at Central Heights Church
The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra led by Calvin Dyck performs at a Christmas concert, titled Joy, on Dec. 20 and 21 at Central Heights Church. (Submitted photo)

The annual Songs Strings and Steps Christmas concert in Abbotsford is back after a two-year hiatus.

Performances of Joy take place Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Central Heights Church, 1661 McCallum Rd. The traditional holiday show has run every year since 2005, until 2020 when the pandemic forced the cancellation of all live events.

The Abbotsford Youth Orchestra led by Calvin Dyck will be augmented with professional musicians to create a symphonic presentation of familiar Christmas carols.

Joining the orchestra will be a quartet of singers led by celebrated soprano Alison Nystrom and a trio of Irish dancers.

The selections will include O Come all ye Faithful, I Saw Three Ships, Carol of the Bell, O Holy Night (arranged by local arranger Mel Bowker), and O Magnum Mysterium arranged for brass.

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The concert will also include a Canadian carol by Gail Poulson called Oh, How Can it Be?, voted best new carol by the SSS audience in 2005.

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch will feature Brooklyn Gerber on the piano.

“We are delighted to bring a live Christmas concert to our community given all that has transpired in Abbotsford in the last few weeks,” Dyck said.

“We hope to bring some comfort and joy to those who attend. And we hope to create a choir of 500 – by inviting the audience to join with the orchestra to sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.”

Joining the cast for the event is local author Shelaine Strom, who will read excerpts from her book When Pain Crept In. She describes how, in the middle of serious medical complications, she found a way to experience joy.

Tickets are available only at (search “Joy”). A link for tickets can also be found at

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