Under the direction of Kerry Heisler

Music of the season performed for hundreds during massed choir concerts

Once again the talent of Sylvan Lake’s sacred massed choir brought the magic of the season to hundreds of people who attended

Once again the talent of Sylvan Lake’s sacred massed choir brought the magic of the season to hundreds of people who attended their two main concerts Sunday.

The choir presented The Star Still Shines, a Christmas musical, directed by Kerry Heisler.

The group, which numbered over 55 people this year, had already performed at the Festival of Trees in Red Deer, Sylvan Lake Lodge and the Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival. They have one concert left this season, on Sunday (Dec. 9) at Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Taking part in the Sunday afternoon concert were the École H. J. Cody High School Choir, Benwood Strings, Lighthouse Christian Academy and C. P. Blakely Elementary School Choir. In the evening, the concert also featured duets by Kerry Heisler and Sean Neergaard, a performance by Memorial Presbyterian Church Choir, Alliance Community Church Choir and solos by Joan Ree.

Vocal soloists during the sacred massed choir’s performance included Kerry Heisler, Sean Neergaard, Joan Ree, Jodi Hinshaw, Sloane Davis, June Pearson, Jocie Stiles,Rhonda McKerracher, Sherry Wolfe andChris Stiles. Liam McNiff was the narrator.

This year marked the 25th annual Inter-Church Sacred Christmas Concert.

“Twenty-five years ago, in the spring of 1988, Sylvan Lake Extended Care Society contacted the various churches to see if they would consider putting on a Christmas concert as a fundraiser,” according to a history of the concert compiled by Dolce Moir and Naomi Hilman. “Their goal was to have a quality care facility in Sylvan Lake.

“Representatives from all the churches, along with community members who loved to sing, organized a massed choir. They pledged to always sing music that would reflect the story of Christ’s birth. The concerts also gave school choirs and bands, children’s groups, and church choirs an opportunity to perform Christmas music.

“The concert has coincided with the first week of Advent, being the beginning of December, to remind the community that ‘Jesus is the reason for the season’.”

Choir directors have been Marie Johanson (seven years), Pam Warkentin (three years), Dolce Moir (three years) and Kerry Heisler (12 years). Accompanists have included David Bell, Evelyn Konynenbelt, Debbie Bell, Darla Belland Cheri Kay.

Performances have taken place at SylvanLake Community Centre, Gospel Chapel, Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Alliance Community Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church, Festival of Trees, Bentley Community Church, Bentley Ag. Centre and Sylvan Lake Seniors Lodge.

Through the 25 years of performances, Kathy Inglis said close to $40,000 has been raised for a variety of organizations. They include the Extended Care Society, Bibles for Grads, Christmas Bureau, Sylvan Lake Food Bank, Gale Hilman Fund, Bethany Care Society, Sylvan Community Housing Society, Community Partners Compassion Fund, and Central Alberta Hospice.

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