Father Bill sings the songs of Christmas at Blessed Sacrament

Thu, Dec 12th 2013 09:50 am

The sound of sleigh bells will be heard inside Blessed Sacrament Parish as Father Bill Quinlivan presents his annual Christmas concert on Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m., at Father Cotter Hall at the Tonawanda church.

Father Quinlivan will perform songs from his two Christmas CDs "Blanket of Stars" and "Back to Bethlehem." Although he is still working on a set list, one can expect to hear "Evergreen," "Beam Me Back to Bethlehem," "Sleighbells," and the Advent song "Listen" on which he will duet with local singer Nannette Keller.

Also appearing will be special guest vocalist Megan Rozak, who has performed in a national touring production of "Wonderful Town," and is involved in the choir at St. Malachy, the Actors' Chapel in New York City.

"She's an aspiring Broadway actress and singer but also a great young woman of faith," said Father Quinlivan.

Father Quinlivan will take to the stage first, performing for a half hour, then allow Rozak to perform. The two will sing together in the third segment of the concert. He used the same format last year during a concert at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Youngstown and found it pleasing to himself and the audience.

"I discovered that format and I loved it because if offered some variety and offered me a chance to enjoy someone else's music within a night of doing some myself," he said.

Father Quinlivan has six collections of songs he has recorded over the past seven years. With themes of mercy, the priesthood and Ireland, he finds fans in some far out places. He has heard from a Baptist minister in Canada who wanted to use "Advent Wreath Carol" after seeing the video on YouTube. An Anglican pastor in Ohio wanted to use the lyrics of "Holy Good St. Nicholas" for an Advent prayer book.
"It's interesting how the music is finding its way out into other Christian churches," he said.

The Christmas concert will be held at 263 Claremont Ave., in Tonawanda. There is no fee. Father Quinlivan's CDs will be available for purchase.

Blessed Sacrament will hold a penance service the following Sunday.

"I like to do the concert near something like the penance service because it gives us the opportunity to do a not-so-subtle reminder that the sacrament of reconciliation will be available," Father Quinlivan said.  

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