Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Singing for joy and need

Caritas Chorale to present Christmas Sing-Along

Express Staff Writer

Photo by Tom Kubin The Caritas Chorale looks forward to spreading holiday cheer through song.

Warm up the vocal chords, break out the Christmas outfits and join in on some holiday cheer and singing with Caritas Chorale at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Ketchum. For the fourth year, the Caritas Chorale invites the public to join it in singing Christmas carols and favorite holiday songs for its Christmas Sing-Along on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 5:30 p.m.

Caritas Chorale Director Dick Brown will lead 45 minutes of carol singing with the choir singing a few selections as well.

"It's secular," Brown said. "It will be mostly favorites, very family-oriented and very relaxed and a lot of fun."

The evening will also include the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood's pre-school children's choir, which includes children ages 2-4 and the Sun Valley Children's Choir. In addition, members of the Caritas Chorale will lead attendees in songs.

"I love Christmas music," Brown said. "But I don't like to hear it in Wal-Mart the day after Halloween. We all have an association with Christmas because it's nostalgic and we all remember where and when we heard our first Christmas songs and carols."

Expect to hear familiar songs such as "Jingle Bells" and "White Christmas" as part of the program, and this year all proceeds from the event will benefit the Hunger Coalition. Admission is cash, check or a donation of a non-perishable food item. The number of needy families in the Wood River Valley has increased significantly this year due to the current economic situation and Caritas Chorale wants to help.

"We want to give back to the community, which has supported us so well throughout the years," Brown said. "This year is very special because everything donated is going to the Hunger Coalition."

Brown said St. Thomas has seen a significant increase in people needing some type of aid. The choir will also be selling its CDs of recorded Wood River Valley concerts, including its "Messiah" performance. Half the proceeds from the sales will benefit the Hunger Coalition.

"People need shelter, clothing and food," Brown said. "Food we can handle in bad times, but please do not donate pâté de foie gras, and do not clean out the pantry. Give updated non-perishable food items."

Adults and children of all ages are welcome and carol sheets will be available so everyone can join in the singing. For details, call 726-4846.

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