The words come out syncopated, layered, alto over soprano over bass over tenor and all rolling, rolling over you in an overlapping, ethereal echo: “We are the ones, we are the ones, we’ve been waiting for ...”

It was rehearsal time for Island vocalist and teacher Roberta Kirn’s annual Songs of Peace Hope and Light concert, a gem of an Island tradition which this year diverts from its usual weekend schedule — instead it will take place on Thursday, Dec. 18, at 5:30 p.m. at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center on Centre street in Vineyard Haven.

The Grammy-winning a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock recorded the song We Are the Ones a decade ago. But the lyrics seem fresh after their iteration in the Obama campaign. Their effect seems more powerful somehow at this time, too, when so many folks feel the loss of so much — and the truth in that we are what we’ve been waiting for, and all we need.

It’s one of a whole program of surprising, and surprisingly apt, songs — gospel, Hebrew, folk and contemporary. Ms. Kirn curates the program with a deep sense of, well, peace, hope and light, and this year the program is outstanding. Bring the kids, or a friend, or just take your own seat — and sing along if you feel like it.

Join the chorus, a casual group from kids to grandparents, for a truly special free concert.