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January 11, 2013

Choirs celebrate Epiphany with song

By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

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Choirs celebrate Epiphany with song
Choir members from three local churches performed during the Epiphany Festival Concert at First Presbyterian Church of Mount Clemens Jan. 6.

MOUNT CLEMENS — Three local church choirs performed popular seasonal carols in front of hundreds of celebrants during the Epiphany Festival Concert at First Presbyterian Church in Mount Clemens Jan. 6.

Traditional Music Director Tom Curry said the annual concert, held the last Sunday before Jan. 6 of every year, is a chance for the local choirs to get together and perform as one massive group.

Despite the fact that there were a number of unforeseen cancelations — 10 choirs were initially set to perform as a group of 125 — Curry said the event was a big success.

“We had a great turnout,” he said, adding that this year’s concert was special because Epiphany, Jan. 6, fell on a Sunday. “We were very pleased with the outcome.”

The three choirs that performed were from First Presbyterian, American Lutheran Church in Mount Clemens and Lake Shore Presbyterian Church in St. Clair Shores. In total, 50 singers performed for an hour and 15 minutes

Each choir performed two musical pieces, and at the program’s conclusion, the massed choir performed spiritual favorites “All is Well” and “Carols Around (and a Round).” The audience of more than 150 was then invited to sing along with the choirs’ “Hallelujah Chorus.”

Pastor Roxie Davis said the Epiphany Festival Concert has been going on locally for close to 30 years.

“This concert has always happened around Epiphany, which is the day that most Christians celebrate the wise men coming to the Christ child,” she said. “Supported by Mount Clemens church choirs, the concert has come to be one of the highlights of the year.”

Curry said another success of the concert came from the collections of canned food and monetary donations for Father Bob’s Food Pantry at Grace Episcopal Church, also located in Mount Clemens. He said, in addition to the donated food that was received that day, an offering garnered $180 for the food pantry and an additional $180 for Lake Shore Presbyterian for their help in making the Macomb County tradition a success.

Curry is already looking forward to the 2014 Epiphany Festival Concert.

“It’s held at a different church each year, and at this point, it’s too early to say where it will be,” he said. “I hope it’s bigger and even better next year.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at jsnyder@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1039.