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St. John's to perform annual Christmas concert

The St. John’s Men’s Chorus and two handbell ensembles will present “Going to Bethlehem,” a free concert, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 200 W. Innes St.
A special feature of this year’s concert will be an exciting and energetic performance of a Nigerian Christmas carol, “Betelehemu,” first performed by the Morehouse College Glee Club in Atlanta. Dr. Wendell Whalum learned the carol from a college friend from Nigeria. It has become a popular favorite and includes a percussion ensemble and traditional hand motions which add to the visual enjoyment of the piece.
An original Christmas “Dialogue,” written by Susan Shinn, will be interwoven with the musical selections in the concert. The Rev. Rhodes Woolly and the Rev. Jan Huntley, pastors of St. John’s, will serve as readers.
The St. John’s Men’s Chorus is directed by Rosemary C. Kinard, associate parish musician at St. John’s. Rob Durocher, director of Music Ministries, serves as accompanist for the group. Instrumentalists will be Daniel Trivette, percussion, and a percussion ensemble. The concert will include many favorites such as “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Away in a Manger,” “We Three Kings,” “O Come, Little Children,” “Good King Wenceslas,” “The Coventry Carol,” “On Christmas Night” and many more seasonal selections.
Kimberly Lentz, assisting musician at St. John’s, will direct two St. John’s adult handbell ensembles — the Classic Ringers and the Luther Ringers — as they each play several selections.
The St. John’s Inner Voices, a new auditioned ensemble composed of 15 members of the Men’s Chorus, will make its concert debut at this performance. They will sing a new composition by Rob Durocher titled “As the Cold Earth.”
The Men’s Chorus was formed in 1994 as a part of the fellowship ministry at St. John’s. It grew into a community group, composed of men from the Salisbury-Rowan area who enjoy singing all styles of music. The group rehearses on Sunday afternoons in the fall and spring, and performs for many local events, local and out-of-town churches, civic events, and many benefit concerts.
A freewill offering will be received during the intermission to benefit Rowan Helping Ministries, and the performance will include a Christmas carol sing-along for the audience.

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