The spirit of Christmas brings an abundance of joy during the holiday season, but it is important to remember that not everyone wakes up to a pile of gifts under the tree and a feast on the table.

Giving is the reason for the season, and in that spirit, the historic Christ Church on Johnson Square is presenting its fifth annual Carols for a Cause concert Dec. 23 to help raise funds for the Emmaus House feeding ministry. The free concert will be headlined by soprano Indra Thomas, a recording artist who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera and at festivals and opera houses all over the world. Thomas is on the music faculty at Shorter University in Rome, Ga., and may also be recognizable for her appearance in the film “Driving Miss Daisy.”

 

The program includes the Savannah Brass Quartet and Savannah Children’s Choir, but they won’t be the only voices you can expect to hear.

“There is a lot of audience sing-along on familiar Christmas carols,” said Timothy Hall, organist for Christ Church and producer of Carols for a Cause. “So, it’s a chance for people to come and enjoy not only listening to musical performances, but actually singing along with brass and organ, so it’s very festive.

“The Christ Church Choir is going to sing this year, as well, so we’re going to have music in the front, music in the back, music all around,” Hall adds.

One of the pieces being performed is not your typical choice for a Christmas program, but is a reminder of the purpose of the concert. Thomas, along with the Christ Church Choir, will sing a piece of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Requiem” in honor of the homeless.

“We just feel like we need to honor those who are less fortunate, and particularly those who have lost their lives,” Hall explains.

 

A collection plate will be passed around halfway during the performance to benefit Emmaus House, which operates in the Christ Church parish hall and includes volunteers from many walks of life and religions. They originally served bagged lunches to the hungry, but have since switched up their approach.

“They figured out that people need to have a good meal at the beginning of the day, so that they can go out and try to find work or housing or whatever,” Hall said. “Now they offer breakfast instead on Monday through Friday. They feed hundreds of people every week.”

The annual concert has grown in popularity, so Hall suggests getting there early for a good seat.

“All are welcome and come prepared to have a beautiful experience and to experience the joy of the season and the joy of giving to the less fortunate,” Hall said.