Attending one of the Keeseville Peru Ecumenical Choir's Christmas concerts is a traditional part of the Christmas celebration for many in the North Country. This will be the choir's 42nd year performing Christmas concerts. This year's concerts are slated for 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, at St. Augustine's Church in Peru, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at St. John's Catholic Church in Keeseville. Both concerts are open to the public and are free, though donations will gladly be accepted to help cover the expenses of putting on the concerts. Come early if you want a seat, warned Ron Goddeau, the choir's chairman for the past 10 years. Both concerts are always packed. Our choir was originally a men's glee club, explained Keeseville's Richard Molholsky, a retired music teacher who has been the choir's director for about 30 years. Almost all of the members were from Keeseville, with just a few from Peru and Ausable Forks. A few years after their inception, the Keeseville Men's Glee Club was asked to join with the Keeseville United Methodist Church's choir for a special Christmas concert. The next year, 1965, the club began accepting female members and renamed themselves the Keeseville Peru Ecumenical Choir. The choir begins practicing the last Sunday in September, with several hours each Sunday evening set aside by choir members to prepare for the Christmas concerts. I appreciate the devotion that so many people have for this, Mr. Molholsky commented. It takes quite a deal of their time. The choir is open to all who are dedicated to attending the practices and there are no try-outs. This makes for a very diverse group, Mr. Molholsky said, and surprisingly all of the sections are well balanced every year. This year, the choir has about 50 members. Some years there have been as many as 85 members. Members come from all over the North Country from Westport to the Canadian border, and some years even beyond there. There is a core group of 30 to 40 members that come back year after year, Mr. Molholsky said. Once you get involved, you hate to miss it, said Mr. Goddeau, who has been involved overall for 12 years. I come back year after year for the overall enjoyment of singing with such a great group of musicians. Everyone is so friendly, and Richard Molholsky does such a great job of selecting the music. We have a great board of directors, and everyone in the choir is so willing to pitch in. It makes my job as director so much easier, Goddeau added. We have a very fine board, Mr. Molholsky said, agreeing with Mr. Goddeau's impression of the board. He also sang the praises of the men who have held the position of chairman, Jim Blaise (past) and Mr. Goddeau. I would like to say just how important those two gentlemen were and are. There would be no choir without them. They do so many unseen things, he said. The excitement of finding new music for each year's program keeps Mr. Molholsky full of anticipation for yet another year as director. Our program goes from classics right up to modern day pieces, with two or three pieces each year that have just been published, he explained. He is especially excited about this year's new piece Mary and Elizabeth: My Soul Magnifies the Lord, which was composed by Pepper Choplin and taken from the cantata Once Upon a Night. This year, the choir's voices will be accompanied by a small stringed orchestra as well as the usual organ and piano. The combination will make for a Christmas concert to be remembered. It is a great Christmas experience, Mr. Molholsky said.