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Middleport Community Choirs to perform holiday concert

MIDDLEPORT – The Middleport Community Choirs will present their Christmas Concert at 7 p.m. Friday in the Middleport United Methodist Church, on the corner of Vernon Street and Park Avenue.

Under the direction of Ric Jones, the vocal choir will perform such pieces as “Peace” by Wimmer, which will serves as the theme of the concert, “Et In Terra Pax” by Purifoy, “O Divine Redeemer” by Gounod, and, with the hand bell choir, the Belltones, “Christmas Bells” by Larson. Flutist Wayne Blumrick will perform with the vocal choir.

The Belltones also will ring such numbers as “The Best Christmas Medley Ever” arranged by John Dare, “People, Look East” arranged by Linda Lamb, and “News! News!” by Jill Fedon.

The theme of peace reflects a recent concert tour the choir members enjoyed in Germany. Debby Clark conducted a hand bell ringing technique workshop for the hand bell choir at St. Johannes Church in Rahdan, which possesses bells with a range of five octaves. By comparison, the Belltones have just three octaves. In concert, the two groups combined to perform “God’s Train” by Stephenson and an encore, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” which usually draws raves from the audience.

The choir members had another emotional experience while performing a concert in St. Andrew’s Church in Lubbecke. The Lubbecke Brass Ensemble, the Belltones and the church pipe organ joined to perform “Highland Cathedral,” a piece written by two German musicians, Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb. The performance was enhanced by the acoustics in St. Andrew’s Church, which was built in the 1300s.

A free-will offering will be accepted during the program to defray the choirs’ expenses and a reception will follow the concert.