Brigham Young University will present a program of traditional Christmas songs called Adventssingen Sunday, Dec. 10, at 6 p.m. in the Provo Tabernacle.

Sponsored by BYU's department of Germanic and Slavic languages, the program is free to the public.It is a 21-year-old tradition and is patterned after the annual Advent Folk Fest in Salzburg, Austria, where a variety of musical groups and choirs perform Christmas songs.

Michelle Stott, director of Adventssingen and an associate professor of German at BYU, said the program is conducted in German but can be enjoyed by all.

"People enjoy the music they only hear once a year and appreciate the spirit of the season," she said. "It also reminds returned missionaries and German natives of Christmas in Germany."

Adventssingen features a women's chorus, men's chorus and BYU's German Choir.

Several soloists and instrumental groups will also perform, including a recorder group performing Bach arrangements of Christmas songs and a group composed of a hammered dulcimer, guitar and harp playing traditional Austrian Christmas music.

Soloists will perform selections from Peter Cornelius Christmas Songs. Many of the 80 performers will wear traditional German costumes.

A highlight of Adventssingen will be performances by BYU's German Choir, directed by Stott.

The 60-student choir is a one-credit class, and students have been practicing all semester.

Adventssingen was first performed in Provo in 1974. Stott said it is popular because the community can be involved.

"It is definitely part of the BYU experience and a tradition at BYU, but not all performers are BYU students," she said.

"The women's chorus is mainly people from the community and there are children performing as well. Adventssingen is about Christmas music and tradition more than anything else."