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Community Choir Announces Upcoming Concerts

Starting on Nov. 17

Mid Columbia Community Choir will offer three concerts this holiday season.

This local volunteer group of choral musicians kicks off the holiday concert series at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Riverside Community Church, 4th & State Street, Hood River.

This concert entitled "Hymns of Thanksgiving" is a benefit concert for Give Them Wings, Inc., a local non-profit two-phase program that provides housing, work, education and wrap-around services for young men who are currently homeless and in need of support. They provide these services to young men between the ages of 18 and 23, who are from, or have ties to, the Columbia Gorge area.

The Hymns of Thanksgiving Concert will include music by members of the Mid Columbia Community Choir and Riverside Community Church Chancel Choir. Several instrumentalists from the gorge will join the choirs during the program including Dawn Rankin (flute) and Susan Tickner (pianist/organist) on "Homeward Bound," an original arrangement by Mack Wilberg, music director for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Perry Cole, director of both groups, will lead the choir and congregation in hymns and anthems celebrating the harvest. Perry will be joined by Diana Beterbide, pianist for both groups.

Benefit Christmas concerts are planned for Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Riverside Community Church, Hood River, and Dec. 2 at 4 p.m. in the Grace Baptist Church, White Salmon.

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.

Volunteer choir members have come from the communities up and down the Mid-Columbia region and have performed benefit concerts since 1989 when Bob Van Alstine of White Salmon formed the group. Van Alstine retired in 2001 and Perry Cole became the choral director in 2003.

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