(Posted 9:30 p.m., Dec. 2)
Annual Christmas Choirfest heralds in the holiday season
By Fred Sherwin
A mass chorus featuring members of six different
area choirs bring the 2013 Christmas Choirfest
to a close Sunday evening. Fred Sherwin Photo
local choirs gathered at Community Pentecostal Church
in Orléans on Sunday to herald in the holiday season
through a combination of song and scripture.
The 29th annual event was once again kicked
off by the combined children's choirs from the Sonshine
Family Ministries, Orleans United Church, the Crosstown
Youth Chorus and the Community Pentecostal Church, which
sang a beautiful rendition of "Away in the Manger".
stage was then cleared leaving the Sonshine Singers who
sang a medley of "The Virgin Mary Had a Little Boy",
"Behold That Star" and "Go Tell It On The
Mountain" featuring soloists Precious Iziomon and
Christina and Victoria Goddard.
a reading from Isaiah 40 verses 1-11, the Orleans United
Youth Choir sang "Come A-Riding" followed by
the Cross Town Youth Chorus who sang a whimsical version
of "Peace on Earth" with lots of little crickets.
youth portion of the Choirfest was brought to a close
by the Community Pentecostal Kids Choir who sang "Believe"
featuring soloists Samantha Presseault, Kinsley Jura and
of every Choirfest are the musical interludes during which
the audience joins in the singing of such Christmas classics
as "O Come All Ye Faithful", "It Came Upon
A Midnight Clear" and "Angels We Have Heard
On High" while each choir takes the stage.
a reading of Luke 2 verses 1-7, the Cumberland Community
Singers took the stage to sing a medley of "Away
In A Manger" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
featuring soloist Katie Gratton, followed by "Rise
audience then joined in the singing of "What Child
Is This" followed by Luke 2 verses 8-12 which set
the stage for the Orleans United Church choir who performed
"This Blessed Christmas Night" and "If
You Would Hear the Angels Sing".
first half of the program was brought to a close by the
Divine Infant Roman Catholic Church choir who sang "Mary,
Mary" followed by a truly spellbinding performance
of "O Night Divine".
freewill collection was then taken while the Zephyr Harp
Duo provided a musical interlude. A total of $3,740 was
raised which will be divided equally between the Gloucester
Food Cupboard and the Orleans-Cumberland Community Resource
Centre's Christmas Hamper program.
the collection and a reading of Matthew 2 verses 1-6,
the St. Peter High School student choir took the stage
to sing "Deck the Rooftop" followed by "Mary
Did You Know", featuring soloists Rebecca Atkinson
and Greg Moreau, which was greeted by the only standing
ovation of the evening.
audience then joined together to sing "It Came Upon
A Midnight Clear". After a reading of Matthew 2 verses
7-12, the St. Helen's Anglican Church choir took the stage
to sing "Joy in Judea" and "In Dulci Jubilo",
providing yet another highlight to what was a magical
final choir to perform was the Queenswood United Church
choir who sang "The Peace Carol" and "The
Child Who Is Born To Be A king" which received another
the audience once again joined in the singing of "Joy
To The World", all the choirs assembled on the stage
for a mass performance of "Glory to God in the Highest"
and "Rejoice and be Merry", the later of which
featured Tom Spear on the glockenspiel.
evening was brought to a close with the choir members
completely encircling the room to sing "Peace, Peace"
accompanied by harpists Joanne Griffin and Heather Flinn.
Choirfest is the brainchild of Lynne Stacey who has led
the way in organizing all 29 events. Stacey is a founding
member of the Cumberland Community Singers, the founder
of the Cross Town Youth Chorus and a member of the Queenswood
United Church choir.
first Christmas Choirfest was held in 1985 as a way to
celebrate the music of the holiday season while raising
money for area foodbanks.
woman in charge of the Choirfest since day one has been
Lynne Stacey, who was once again kept busy as the lead
organizer, part-time accompanist and vocalist with both
the Queenswood United Church choir and the Cumberland
Stacey is the lead organizer of the event, she was assisted
admirably by a committee of six people that includes Kurt
Ala Kantti, Emily Adams, Lise-Marie Hollis, Scott Richardson,
Michelle Godin, Bernie Leger, and Pastor Stephen Crilly.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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