Award-Winning Singers/Songwriters to Perform Advent Concert in St. James – Eagle News Online

CAZENOVIA — During the upcoming Advent, St. James Roman Catholic Church in Cazenovia will present several events to engage its parishioners and the community.

Advent is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) preceding the celebration of Christmas. This year, the season starts on Sunday, November 27 and runs until Saturday, December 24.

Advent events are organized by Missy Race of the St. James Parish Office, choir director and soloist Joan Stoker, parishioner Susan Green, St. James staff and other church members.

“Advent is the time we use to prepare for the birth of Christ,” Race said. “Some of these events are not new to St. James, such as our Advent wreath making and Christmas play. [Others] are events that we organize to maybe give some [people] a better experience of Advent, thus making Christmas more meaningful for them.

St. James will kick off the season with its traditional Advent wreath making event on Sunday, November 27.

On Sunday, December 4, Deacon Nathan Gunn will lead a mini Advent retreat beginning at 2 p.m. The retreat will focus on Saint Nicholas, whose feast day is December 6th.

The annual Christmas play will be performed on Sunday, December 11 at 4 p.m. Earlier today, St. James will host “Breakfast with St Nick” in the Parish Hall from 10 a.m. to noon.

The Advent events will culminate with a concert on December 18 at 4:30 p.m. featuring award-winning singers and songwriters Sarah Hart ( and Steve Angrisano (

“Sarah Hart and Steve Angrisano are prolific Christian composers,” Stoker said. “If you type any of their names into the search bar on YouTube, you’ll find dozens of songs they’ve written or co-written with others. [Oregon Catholic Press] artists.”

Hart is an award-winning musician and songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. One of the leading figures in contemporary Catholic music today, Hart has written songs that have been recorded by Amy Grant, Celtic Woman, Matt Maher, Laura Story, Jason Crabb, Audrey Assad and The Newsboys. Grant’s recording of “Better Than a Hallelujah” earned Hart a Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Song. Hart has also had several song placements in film and television, and his songs appear in anthems around the world. In October 2013, she was invited to perform in front of Pope Francis and a crowd of 150,000 in St. Peter’s Square.

Angrisano is an internationally renowned Catholic music composer, presenter and missionary. Based in Coppell, Texas, he has traveled the world for over two decades sharing his unique blend of humor, story, song and interaction.

“Steve is a beloved composer who is sought out around the world to perform and work with young people using his music to deepen the faith of young and old everywhere,” Stoker said.

According to Stoker, the performers have collaborated and co-written several pieces and performed together in the past.

In 2020 Hart, Angrisano and Curtis Stephan published “Let Us All Rejoice”, which received first place for the 2021 Award for Excellence in Publishing from the Association of Catholic Publishers.

Hart and Angrisano will visit St James as part of their ‘Comfort & Joy’ tour. They will not only share their music but also their personal experiences and stories.

St. James Parish has been singing music written by Hart and Angrisano for years.

“They compose beautiful and moving pieces, so hearing what they do for the Advent season will be wonderful,” Race said “. . . “Anyone who knows their music will be delighted to hear and see them. to play.”

Stoker said she loved their music and had sung and conducted choirs using their compositions for many years. She also attended online music conferences they conducted.

When she saw an advertisement for the Comfort & Joy Tour in the Oregon Catholic Press newsletter, Stoker approached Father Kevin Corcoran with the idea of ​​inviting them to St. James to perform.

“He thought it would be a wonderful idea for us to host them for a gig, so we started the booking process,” Stoker recalled. “. . . They are inspiring, creative and have a deep devotion to our faith. I’m so excited to meet them and hear their message through music in person. It should be a phenomenal afternoon to connect us all to the true heart of the Advent and Christmas season.

St. James is located at 6 Green St. For more information visit

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