More than 70 singers strong, the Island Community Chorus brought holiday cheer and glorious singing to the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown over the weekend.

Listeners streamed up the steps into the historic house of worship on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon to hear the group’s first performances with director William D. (Bill) Peek Jr. and pianist Molly Sturges, joined by cellist Jan Hyer.

Inside, the audience found rich rewards, from the first rousing notes of concert opener Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light — a hymn of joyful awe from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio of 1734 — to the modern harmonies of Mel Tormé and Robert Wells’s The Christmas Song (“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” written in 1945) as the program drew to a close.

Bill Peek took over directing the choir this year from Peter Boak who retired this summer.

On the way to the show’s finale ­— Deck the Halls, with audience members on their feet and singing along in the pews — the crowd also heard works by Felix Mendelssohn (Behold a Star from Jacob Shining, from the unfinished 1840s oratorio known posthumously as Christus) and George Frideric Handel, as well as songs from both before and after the classical era.

Bass-baritone David Behnke stepped forward for a reverent solo on Father of Heaven, a song about the Jewish feast of lights from Handel’s 1746 oratorio Judas Maccabeus.

Soprano soloist Jenny Friedman sang in fluid Spanish on Argentinian composer Ariel Ramírez’s Navidad en Verano (Christmas in Summer), from a poem by Félix Luna that Mr. Peek dedicated to all those who have come to this country from southern lands where it’s summertime when Christmas takes place.

Show included traditional and contemporary numbers from around the world. — Mark Alan Lovewell

As Ms. Friedman sang the original text, a translation in the concert program allowed listeners to follow along all the way to the chorus: “Peace to all, Peace on Earth/In my hot country, and in that land where it snows.”

Mr. Peek — a multi-instrumentalist and lifelong aficionado of traditional music who lists banjo, hammered dulcimer and bass among the acoustic instruments he plays — switched his baton for a six-string guitar and left the conductor’s podium for the stage to accompany Ms. Friedman on guitar.

Other multicultural songs included a 17th-century French carol (What is This Lovely Fragrance?), a West Indian spiritual (The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy) and a shape-note hymn from the American South (Shepherd’s Star, first published in 1835, eight years before the Old Whaling Church was built).

Mr. Peek also contributed two of his own works to the program: a choral arrangement of the traditional Hebrew song Hanukkah Hayom — with Ms. Sturges making her debut on finger cymbals — and his original music for Robert Frost’s Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening, in which the pianist and chorus wove a pensive, wintry mood around the New England writer’s best-known poem and its lingering final lines: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep,/But I have promises to keep,/And miles to go before I sleep,/And miles to go before I sleep.”

Shows took place over the weekend at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Mr. Peek and the chorus also had an unexpected holiday gift for the child inside every audience member who had ever read — or been read — The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: A carol sung by the book’s field mice to main characters Mole and Rat, celebrating the role of four-footed creatures in the first Christmas.

“Who were the first to cry Nowell?/Animals all, as it befell,/In the stable where they did dwell!/Joy shall be theirs in the morning!” the chorus sang, to music by the contemporary American husband-and-wife duo of composer William Bolcom and mezzo-soprano Joan Morris.

Mr. Peek, who is also the music director and organist for the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury and Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs, took up the chorus baton following the retirement of founding director Peter S. Boak this summer. Judging from Sunday’s performance, the transition has been seamless for the chorus, which had worked with Mr. Boak for more than 25 years. Some members continue to sing with him at Edgartown’s Federated Church, where he remains the longtime minister of music.

Bill Peek stepped out of his conductor role to perform with Jenny Friedman. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Both men came to the Vineyard year-round after establishing careers in music that included studying at the same college. Mr. Peek earned his master’s degree in choral conducting from Mr. Boak’s alma mater, Westminster Choir College, a New Jersey conservatory that has educated generations of prominent musicians.

The Island Community Chorus has generally performed three programs a year: the Christmas concerts, a spring recital and a festive Fourth of July show, which this year doubled as Mr. Boak’s farewell performance. Auditions are not required to join the chorus, which rehearses at Trinity Methodist on Monday evenings.

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