This week is the last opportunity to buy tickets for “An Amaryllis Christmas”, being presented at Knox Presbyterian Church in Vankleek Hill on Sunday, December 18 at 4 pm.  Aside from the decorating, the shopping, the Christmas cards and the Santa letters, Christmas music is an integral part of the celebrations of the season.  At a time when the weather is often harsh and world events may be troublesome and disheartening, sharing wonderful Christmas music is calming, reassuring and uplifting.  Under the direction of Maestro Uwe Lieflander, Amaryllis is presenting a program of favourite Christmas pieces designed to bring the Christmas spirit to everyone.

From the outset, Amaryllis has worked diligently to live up to the mission statement of the choir, which in part states:  “We believe that music is essential to the human spirit; that singing promotes joy, fellowship and a sense of community. We strive to present, advocate and promote choral music of the highest standards of artistry”

The choir has undergone an evolution over the years with the addition of male singers and of members traveling to rehearsals every week not just from Hawkesbury, Vankleek Hill, Maxville, Lachute and Brownsburg, but also from Alexandria, Cornwall, Ottawa and even a cross border singer from Watertown NY. In addition to the weekly rehearsals Amaryllis has been fortunate to be able to add vocal music lessons with Cornwall native and professional singer Danielle Vaillancourt to the offerings for members.  Vocal techniques are taught, practiced and refined so that the quality of sound and performance is constantly improved.  Vaillancourt is an accomplished vocal mezzo-soprano who has performed in Canada and abroad, as well being the recipient of many awards.  Added to this is the unbounded and contagious energy and enthusiasm of the director, Maestro Uwe Lieflander, whose skills and achievements range from the establishment of the Sparrows Music program for children, the founding of the Sacred Music Society to the direction of the massed choir for the visit to Canada of Pope John Paul II for World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002.


The contributions to the choir are not just from members, directors, accompanists and vocal teachers, but from a much wider circle.  Members’ families have put up with the learning of the score at home, rushed dinners, lectures on the origins of the music, chatter about rehearsals or passages in a musical piece, absences for dress rehearsals and practices.  Friends who don’t sing contribute to the experience by attending concerts and showing their enthusiasm for the choir’s efforts.  The choir works tirelessly to put the final, sometimes subtle touches to each piece hoping to create an experience that in turn touches the audience and leaves them wishing the concert had not ended.  Local businesses such as The Review, ReMax/John Clouston, MacEwen and numerous others contribute by providing both monetary and technical support for the choir.  For “An Amaryllis Christmas” the program will feature some familiar and much loved carols as well as some excerpts from “Messiah” to get everyone in the Christmas mood. Several solos will be performed by choir members as well as by professional musicians.

The concert will be one performance only at Knox Presbyterian Church in Vankleek Hill on Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 4 pm.  Previous Amaryllis Christmas concerts have sold out prior to the performance, and due to limited seating purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Admission is $20 for adults while children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets can be purchased at Scotiabank in Vankleek Hill and Maxville, the offices of The Review in Vankleek Hill as well as online at on the “Events” page.”