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Christmas in Covington
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For 14 years, the Oxford Singing Children and the Oxford Youth Singers have performed their annual Christmas in Covington concert in December.

This year the young singers will perform at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 at First United Methodist Church in Covington.

It's a very traditional choral concert with sacred holiday pieces and also fun secular pieces as well as choreography," said Buncie Lanners, executive director of the Arts Association in Newton County.

Lanners said members of the arts association decided to create the Oxford Singing Children to expose the children to the choral arts and teach a love of music.

"We are very clear about the fact that we are trying to augment what kids get in their school environments with all our young artist programs," Lanners said.

The Oxford Singing Children accepts students in fourth through seventh grade.

When the original members became older and still wanted to sing with a community choir, the arts association created the Oxford Youth Singers for students in eighth grade through seniors in high school.

Lanners said the choirs differ from other youth choirs because the children are auditioned for acceptance.

"Attendees will be absolutely thrilled with the quality of voices of the kids," Lanners said.

She added the childlike tones of the singers give the entire concert an angelic quality.

Approximately 65 students participate in Oxford Singing Children and 45 in the Oxford Youth Singers.

The choirs, both directed by Mary Lynn Luke, also perform musicals such as "Oliver" and "Bye, Bye Birdie" in the spring. In March the groups will perform "Oklahoma."

Eastside High School senior Katie Marks joined the Oxford Youth Singers in eighth grade and said she has really enjoyed performing in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat" as well as with other adult choirs.

Marks said she thinks everyone will enjoy this weekend's performance.

"It's a lot of fun," Marks said, "and a lot of the songs are songs people would recognize."