Christmas Choir hosts organizational meeting

Thursday, September 17, 2015

RUSSELLVILLE -- Christmas may still be four months away, but the performance committee of the Community Christmas Choir at Russellville is busy preparing for its annual program.

The choir, which is in its 14th year, has been a growing tradition for residents in Montgomery, Parke and Putnam counties. Last year, more than 1,500 people attended the concert at the Russellville Community Center.

With the music and theme of this year's concert in place, the next step is to find choir members from surrounding counties to fill those seats. Last year, the choir set a record with nearly 100 members. This year's concert is titled The Heart of Christmas -- A Journey of Joy, created by Phil Barfoot and arranged and orchestrated by Cliff Duren.

Jamie France has directed the choir since its inception in 2001 when it started with 30 members from three small churches.

"We never imagined that it would grow to this level," France said. "Every year, more and more people desire to be involved in the performance."

The choir's first organizational meeting will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20 in the Browns Valley Christian Church sanctuary, which is located at 9011 South State Road 47 in southwest Montgomery County. France encourages everyone to come out and be a part of the choir. There are no auditions and everyone is invited.

"It's uplifting to experience the fun and fellowship our choir has during the rehearsals," France said. "We have 100 seats to fill and room for even more."

Choir rehearsals will be once a week at Browns Valley Christian Church. France said choir members are encouraged to attend each practice, but they need only attend every other week. Each choir member will receive a practice CD to work on the songs at home.

The choir is made up of members from a wide variety of churches. The productions will also feature a narrated dramatization of the birth of Jesus Christ and a children's choir.

This year's highly anticipated and well-attended annual event is open to the public and everyone is invited to experience the sights and sounds it has to offer.

The free concert will once again be performed in the Russellville Community Center on Friday, Dec. 4 and Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. The final showing on Dec. 6 will begin at 1:30 p.m. Each performance will last approximately one hour.

A dinner will be served by the Russellville Community Center and is offered one hour prior to each performance. A free will offering will be accepted for the meal and the proceeds will go to benefit the Russellville Community Center.

Christmas bake sale items will also be available before, during and after each of the three performances. These holiday cookies and candies are donated by the volunteer members that make up the Community Christmas Choir. A free will offering will also be accepted for these goodies and all the proceeds will go to benefit the 2016 Community Christmas Choir.

This year, the Community Christmas Choir will again take the opportunity to provide for those individuals in our local communities who are less fortunate and will not have enough to eat this winter. Donated non-perishable food items will be collected at the door and then distributed to food banks in Parke, Putnam and Montgomery counties.

Questions can be directed to France at 719-0732 or at

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