Reily and Friends have planned four Christmas concerts for this holiday season with the first one scheduled for Dec. 1.
The title for the program will be "Christmas Bells are Gladly Ringing." The performances are a selection of choir and orchestra numbers with a number of soloists and a wide variety of music including choir gospel and Christmas music according to Bill Savage, a Reily Memorial Methodist Church and choir member. The people involved are all local and come from a variety of churches in Morehouse, Richland and Ouachita Parish.
"What I think makes it unique is the combination of choir- we've got about 20 voices- and then the musicians- we have live musicians," Savage said.
There orchestra has variety of instruments including a violin, cello, trumpet, percussion instruments, guitar, base, flute, piano and harmonica.
"The story I hear most is that it's just a group of local people who used to play as kids and got their instruments out of the attic," Savage said. "This has been a chance for them to pick those instruments back up and play again."
A couple of the musicians play professionally, but the majority are amateurs.
The origins of the group are based around the choir at Reily Memorial Church in Collinston.
"For those involved, it's really just about getting together to rehearse and seeing it all come together," Savage said. "For the churches and the communities, it's become a tradition."
The four free Christmas concerts are scheduled for the following dates and times:
6 p.m. Dec. 1 at First Methodist Church
6 p.m. Dec. 8 at First Church of God
4 p.m. Dec. 15 at United Methodist Church in Mer Rouge
8:30 a.m. Dec. 22 at Reily Memorial Methodist Church in Collinston