Church no Scrooge during holiday

Published 10:00 pm Friday, December 5, 2008

It’s one thing to put on a Christmas concert for the community.

It’s another thing to put on a Christmas concert benefiting the community.

Members of Ebenezer United Methodist Church are doing something a little different with their Christmas concert this year. Admission to “A Candlelight Carol,” the church’s candlelight Christmas service, is free, but organizers are asking attendees to bring non-perishable food to donate to the Newport News Food Bank.

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Participants say the night’s musical program, prepared by director Doug Shomaker, will be well worth the donation of some canned goods.

“It’s a very traditional Christmas program with classic carols,” said Susan Terry, a member of the choir. “We think there are some pretty songs, and they’re varied and we would just like to help people get in the Christmas spirit.”

Joining the church’s chancel choir will be the wind ensemble – a group of about 15 musicians from within the church.

“We’re blessed to have a lot of really talented musicians, so we’ve got all kinds of horns, French horns, saxophones and trumpets, flutes and clarinets,” said Art Latimer, a member of the choir.

“It’s gorgeous, gorgeous music. Doug Shomaker is a wonderful director, and we have one of the best pianists with Linda Rodgers. We’re very fortunate that we have got these two leading us and teaching us.”

The 15-song set will last approximately an hour and 15 minutes, and Latimer said it includes some Christmas standards, as well as nine songs new to the choir.

The 30-person choir began rehearsing in September to prepare for the program.

“It’s a very good group, and the choir is very tight,” Terry said. “We’re all friendly, and that makes it more fun. We thoroughly enjoy the process.”

“A Candlelight Carol” will be performed this Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Ebenezer United Methodist Church sanctuary. There will be repeat performances at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

Following the concert, concertgoers will be treated to dinner. The menu will include varieties of soups and stews prepared by the members of Ebenezer.

For more information, call the church at 238-2359.