About 300 people filled the Evangelical Free Church in McArthur on Sunday afternoon December 20 to enjoy an afternoon of Christmas music presented by the Fall River Valley Community Choir, the Fall River Valley Children’s Community Choir and several guest performers.
The program began at 3 p.m. Reverend Thom McKee welcomed everybody to the church. Then there was the first of several sing-alongs, with the entire congregation joining in to sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
Next Alison Maki introduced the Children’s Choir who thrilled the audience with their sweet voices.
The children sang “Away in a Manger,” The Friendly Beasts,” “Twelve Days of Christmas,” and “Under Beth’lem’s Star So Bright.”
Next, everybody sang “What Child is This?” It was nice to have a large screen in the front so that everybody could easily read the words.
Following the sing-along, Stu Stoore and Virginia Dye performed a duet entitled “As Christmas,” recently composed by Mr. Stoore himself. Mr. Stoore played the guitar and sang while Virginia Dye played the violin.
The main feature of the Christmas Concert was a performance of the Christmas cantata “Lead Me Back to Bethlehem” by contemporary church composer Pepper Choplin. The work alternates narration and eight musical selections. The music and vocal arrangements combine traditional Christmas Carols, folk melodies, and original words and music into a stirring musical journey that led us through the traditional story of Christ’s birth.
Under the direction of Alison Maki, the choir performed superbly raising our hearts, minds, and souls into a realm of angelic inspiration.
The eight musical selections were “Come Emmanuel,” “Fear Not, the Lord is Come,” “Lead Me Back to Bethlehem,” “Come Down to Bethlehem,” “Treasures of the Heart,” “Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold,” “You are Lord,” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
At the conclusion of their beautiful performance, the entire congregation joined once again in singing “Joy to the World.”
There was still more to come. We were treated to a guest performance by singer Alicia Spade who shared a soulful performance of “O Holy Night.”
Then to conclude the program, we were treated to “Silent Night” being sung in German.
The entire afternoon of music was marvelous. Special thanks to Alison Maki and the Fall River Valley Community Choir for all the work they put into preparing. Also, kudos to the Children’s Choir and their parents for their diligent preparation and performance.
Commendations and gratitude also goes to The Community United Methodist Church for providing rehearsal space and financial support, Fall River Arts and Trophy for designing and printing flyers gratis, and to The Mountain Echo for helping to promote the event.
Finally, thanks to the Reverend Thom McKee and the Intermountain Evangelical Church for hosting the event and providing the technical sound support. This was truly a holiday treat for the people of Fall River Valley and the surrounding area.
Rev. McKee said, “This is the second year that we have done this and I am so excited to see what this group has accomplished. Nothing excites me more than to see churches working together like this.”
Alison Maki said, “Through God’s glory all of this is possible.”