This year will go down in history as one of the best holiday seasons for presentations in the arts in our community.
Saturday evening, the eight lovely ladies of Serendipity, a newly-formed women's a cappella singing group, performed a concert titled ''One Still and Silent Night,'' at First Presbyterian Church of Jamestown. The performance was scheduled for the church's Bellinger Chapel, but the crowd was so large that it was necessary to move to the quite large main sanctuary, and even there, nearly every seat was filled.
Serendipity is an ensemble of eight soloist-quality women's voices, conducted by Susan Huther. The members are Laura Flower Hotchkiss and Cyndi Hopkins Lorenc, first sopranos; Gail Grundstrom and Melanie Gritters, second sopranos; Susan Huther and Leslie Hallock, first altos; and Lissa VanDewark and Carolyn Taft Whitehead, second altos.
Expertly chosen and performed piano music was offered as the audience gathered, and during part of the intermission, by Cindy Lind Hanson.
The program lasted only about 90 minutes, including intermission, and the audience seemed riveted throughout. Even when the change of venue resulted in the program's choreography being a bit awkward, such as the beautiful ''Ave Maria,'' by Franz Biebl being performed with one of the two antiphonal ensembles invisible to the audience, the presentation itself was splendid.
The women sang a wide variety of very difficult music, from a demanding setting of the popular carol ''Jingle Bells'' to the complex and lovely ''Lux Aeterna'' by Michelle Roueche, yet in every work, the balance among the voices was perfect, with no grandstanders and no missing elements, ever.
Artistically, the Christmas season often focuses on two different spirits: the joy of the birth of Christ, and the bittersweet nostalgia for the warmth and closeness of family and dear ones, and both were highlighted and proclaimed. Cheers to all involved.