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Community choir begins rehearsals

At White Salmon SDA Church

Mid Columbia Community Choir will begin rehearsals on Sept. 6 for this year's 2012 music season.

Each year this local volunteer group of choral musicians performs three or four benefit concerts during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Performances will be Nov. 17 and Dec. 1 at the Riverside Community Church in Hood River and Dec. 2 at the Grace Baptist Church in White Salmon.

Rehearsals will be Thursday evenings from 7-9 p.m. at the White Salmon SDA Church.

Volunteer choir members have come from the communities up and down the Mid-Columbia region and performed benefit concerts since 1989 when Bob Van Alstine of White Salmon formed the group. VanAlstine retired in 2001 and Perry Cole became the choral director in 2003. Cole is returning this year and will be joined by Diana Beterbide as accompanist of this 65 member group.

The group will be performing "The Night Before Christmas," arranged by Joel Lindsey and Twila LaBar who bring the Christmas story to life through this stirring new musical. Dynamically arranged by Dove-Award winning producer, J. Daniel Smith, this compelling re-telling of the events leading up to Christ's coming combines a carefully crafted choir arrangement and simple narration for an inspiring Christmas musical presentation of hope.

For both concerts, several new octavos have been chosen to perform including Randall Thompson's "The Road Not Taken." The choir has also chosen to sing "Homeward Bound," an original arrangement by Mack Wilberg, music director for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Two of Cole's grandchildren will join the choir during Christmas to lend their voices to "When Christmas Comes to Town" from the popular film Polar Express.

Check-in and registration will be from 6:30-7:00 p.m. on Sept. 6 in the White Salmon SDA Church, 509 NE Tohomish, White Salmon. A two hour rehearsal will follow.

New prospective members are welcome to attend and are encouraged to contact Cole at or by phone at 541-806-1395.

The choir is also seeking a sound technician to volunteer with recording and live sound during concerts. Those interested are encouraged to contact the director.


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