A concert series starting tonight will be the first of several chances for Border residents to hear and sing their favourite Christmas carols in coming weeks.
Season's Greetings comprises three performances over three days by Murray Conservatorium Choir in Walla, Albury and Wodonga, offering a selection of sacred and secular vocal music.
As well, the Murray Conservatorium Vocal Consort is preparing its services of carols and lessons in Yackandandah on Monday, December 9, and Chiltern on Monday, December 16.
While communities and churches throughout the region plan their own carol services, two of the biggest public events will be Wodonga Carols by Candlelight on Sunday, December 15 and its Albury counterpart on Sunday, December 22.
Also on the calendar is The Beechworth Singers' 40th anniversary Christmas concert on Sunday, December 22, where director Margaret Phillips will lead the program at Beechworth Town Hall, starting at 2.30pm.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Murray Conservatorium Choir will be led by musical director Malcolm Halford, who took over the role after former leader Pippa Andrew left to study in Canada.
Choir president Michele Roberts said Mr Halford would also continue as director next year, having previously sung with and accompanied the group.
"He's someone who's had a long association and friendship with our choir," she said.
People attending the concert in Zion Lutheran Church, Walla, on Friday, December 6, may wish to bring a picnic tea before the 7.30pm program, which will be repeated at St Matthew's Church, Albury, on Saturday, December 7, at 7.30pm and St John's Anglican Church, Wodonga, on Sunday, December 8, from 2.30pm.
"There'll be an opportunity for the congregation to join in and sing a couple of carols with us, which is also a bit of a tradition for our concerts," Ms Roberts said.
The choir's keyboard accompanist Robyn Krowicky also directs the Murray Conservatorium Vocal Consort, a smaller four-part group of 18 singers.
Monday's performance at Yackandandah's Holy Trinity Anglican Church and the following week's event in St Paul's Anglican Church, Chiltern, both starting at 8pm, continue an annual tradition for the consort as well as the format.
The service of nine lessons and carols was first held in Cornwall, England, 139 years ago, with the well-known King's College Cambridge version presented since 1918.
The chosen songs aim to match the set Bible readings.
The vocal consort will singing unaccompanied but a keyboard will support the four congregational carols.
"It's just a lovely way to start the Christmas season, I think," Mrs Krowicky said.