(Posted 11 a.m., Dec. 2)
Christmas Choirfest raises $2,600 for local foodbanks
By Fred Sherwin
year, on the last Sunday in November, church choirs
from across Orléans gather to celebrate the holy
season in song and scripture while raising thousands of
dollars for local foodbanks.
year the Choirfest fell on the same Sunday as the
Grey Cup. Thats not unusually, but was unusual this
year is that the Grey Cup involved a team from Ottawa
for the first time since 1981.
participating choirs at this years Orléans
Christmas Choirfest join together for the
grande finale, bringing the concert to a close.
events started at the same time and when the Sonshine
Singers took the stage to open the Choirfest, it was clear
that a good many people had chosen to cheer on the Redblacks
rather than attend the concert.
people who did come out, were treated to a night of Christmas
classics and some not so familiar songs celebrating the
Sonshine Singers kicked off the proceedings with an emotional
performance of How Great is Our God, a song
made popular by contemporary Christian music performer
chorus is made up of a talented group of able-bodied and
developmentally challenged youth under the direction of
Cathy Goddard, who is a recording artist in her own right.
group was followed on stage by the Cross Town Youth Chorus
which sang Little Drummer Boy. The senior
members of the chorus then sang Rise Up Sheppard
and Follow, accompanied by Alvaro Minaya on traditional
of the highlights of the Choirfest is the singing of Christmas
carols between each performance, during which time members
of the audience are encouraged to join in.
first ensemble carol of the evening was one of my personal
favourites, O Come All Ye Faithful. A passage
from the Bible describing the birth of Jesus is also read
between each performance.
Orléans United Church choir followed the Cross
Town singers in stage. The talented ensemble sang Scots
Nativity and What Strangers Are These.
the audience joined together in singing What Child
is This, the Cumberland Community Singers took to
the stage to sing Gospel Noel and African
Angel Noel, the latter accompanied on traditional
African drums by the aforementioned Minaya.
Queenswood United Church choir followed with a performance
of Alleluia for Advent, and The Virgin
Mary Had A Baby Boy accompanied by flautist Julia
entire audience then joined together for Hark the
Herald Angels Sing, during which freewill donations
were collected for the areas two local foodbanks.
next chorus to take the stage was the St. Helens
Anglican Church choir which sang Angels Carol
and Carols Around (And Around).
in turn, were followed by the host Community Pentecostal
Church choir which sang Shine On Us and Its
highlight of the night, as it is every year, was the coming
together of all the choirs to close out the show. This
year the massed chorus sang When Christmas Comes,
followed by Do You Hear What I Hear and Peace,
Peace, which traditionally brings the Choirfest
to a close.
has been the case from the events conception 31
years ago, this years Christmas Choirfest was once
again organized by Lynne Stacey with the help of a six
member organizing committe and dozen or more volunteers.
event managed to raise over $2,600 which will be evenly
split between the Orléans-Cumberland Community
Resource Centre and the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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