NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The Singin’ Axes and Kantorei choirs at Stephen F. Austin State University will present the concert “O Magnum Mysterium” when the choral ensembles perform at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

“‘O Magnum Mysterium’ is the title of a beautiful, contemporary motet by my dear friend, Dr. Brian Bondari, professor of music theory and composition at Trinity University,” explained Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities for the SFA School of Music and the choirs’ director. Bondari’s setting of this seasonal text will be sung by the combined Kantorei and Singin’ Axes choirs.

“O Magnum Mysterium” is translated as: “O great mystery, And most wonderful sacrament, That animals could witness the birth of the Lord lying in a manger. We saw the birth and the choir of angels praising God. Alleluia!”

Caroline Van Landingham, graduate student in choral conducting from Cypress, will conduct one selection each with the choirs. She will conduct Kantorei Choir performing Richard Felciano’s arrangement of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” and she will conduct the Singin’ Axes performing William C. Powell’s arrangement of Rosephanye Powell’s “The Word Was God.”

The combined choirs will sing the first movement of John Rutter’s “Gloria.” Kantorei will sing Michael Engelhardt’s gospel rendition of “And Suddenly,” which is from Luke 2:13-14. The Singin’ Axes will sing Joshua Himes’ setting of the “Ave Maria” text.

“We will end the concert with the combined choirs singing Hawley Ades’ arrangement of Leroy Anderson’s audience favorite, ‘Sleigh Ride,’” Fish said.

Joining the choirs are SFA’s collaborative pianists, Dr. Maria Lyapkova and Dr. Thomas Nixon.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602. The concert will be live streamed.