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Christmas spirit through song
All sacred, all the time.
That’s the idea of the Sequim Christmas Chorus’ program Dec. 6-8, at the Sequim Seventh-day Adventist Church.
You won’t hear “Jingle Bells” or “Here Comes Santa Claus” but the Christmas story told through biblical readings and songs.
“It’s a wonderful way of bringing a spiritual emphasis to the Christmas season,” said Linda Bauer, one of the original members of the chorus.
She and a group of community members from other churches came together 29 years ago with the intent to focus on Jesus’ birth rather than commercialism.
Director Gary McRoberts for the seventh year leads 76 singers including soloists Taylor Ackley, Kyra Humphrey, John Zuerner on oboe, and Frank Herodes.
As is tradition, no one auditions and all experience levels are welcome with rehearsals beginning in September.
McRoberts said the chorus is mostly people who have sung in school or church choirs with a few professionals mixed in.
Irene Mantle of Diamond Point joined for the first time after possibly divine intervention.
Her friends had told her about it for years and while at work recently a blind man told her she had a good voice and should join a choir.
“So I finally signed up,” she said. “I had always wanted to do it. It’s been such a pleasurable experience.”
Kyra Humphrey, a retired professional singer, said she joined last year after prompts from members of her church.
“It’s fun to sing with people who love Christmas, especially coming from a professional career where people love to sing but it was a job,” she said.
Humphrey will sing a solo in “Mary, Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene. A few other songs include “Sanctus, from St. Cecilia Mass” by Charles Gounod, “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” by Tom Fettke and Linda Lee Johnson, and Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”
The NorthWest Women’s Chorale Ensemble led by Joy Lingerfelt will sing four songs, too.
McRoberts said he begins considering songs for the next year shortly after the concerts end. He has a list of every program they’ve done and tries not to repeat songs for four or five years.
McRoberts said he could imagine the chorus tradition going on forever.
“I hope so,” he said.
Most of the concerts’ proceeds benefit Sequim Community Aid and the Shipley Center, formerly Sequim Senior Center’s membership fund for low-income seniors.
For more information on the chorus, call Gail at 477-9361 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reach Matthew Nash at email@example.com.