Sixty-five children and a number of adults from Merced's Central Presbyterian Church are collaborating in a children's holiday musical, "The Joy of Christmas," which will be performed today and Sunday.
Professional singer and UC Merced teacher Jenni Samuelson is the director.
She wrote the musical with the help of the children from preschool through fifth grade.
Retired art teacher Sue Thompson had the youngsters illustrate parts of the musical, which has been in the works since September.
The youthful performers chose all the songs.
Lori Arzamendi, the church's children's ministry director, said the musical will be a moving experience as students reveal their favorite things about the Christmas holiday through song, dance, art and a handbell choir.
The goal of the performance is for lives to change and people to realize the real reason for the season, Arzamendi said.
Today's performance at the church at 520 W. 20th St. begins at 4 p.m. and Sunday's event starts at 5 p.m.
The performances are free and open to the public.