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Voices / Letters from readers

Holiday events supported area nonprofits

I extend sincere thanks to everyone who attended and otherwise supported our holiday programs.

Door donations at the 47th Community Messiah Sing on Dec. 2 and the 45th Christmas at Christ Church concerts on Dec. 15 and 16 allow us to contribute to the support of two other local nonprofit organizations.

Set at Centre Congregational Church since 1980, the Messiah Sing was rededicated in 2007 as a benefit for the homeless at holiday time. This year’s door donations of $2,310 bring the grand total passed along to Groundworks Collaborative and its predecessor agencies to just over $20,350!

Sing attendees supplemented the cash contribution with several bags of groceries, winter outerwear, and toys from attendees, as it does each year.

The soloists and conductor for this community-based event have traditionally donated their services for the fundraiser. This year, we thank soloists Junko Watanabe, Justina Golden, James Anderson, and Cailin Marcel Manson as well as conductor Kenneth Olsson and trumpeter Melissa Griffin, for their generous time and talent. Organist Bill McKim performed for the 30th time!

Friends of Music is deeply grateful for this generosity in making the Messiah Sing once again a great community event.

Two weeks later, we hosted two performances of our 45th annual Christmas at Christ Church celebration in that historic Guilford structure on Route 5. This year’s “Such Wondrous Tidings” program featured the Guilford Chamber Singers, conducted by Tom Baehr. Amy Cann led a quartet of Guilford Chamber Players. Don McLean read Dylan Thomas’s “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”

These annual Christmas concerts are also offered free, with door donations, totaling $466, shared equally by Friends of Music and the Christ Church Society for preservation and maintenance of the building.

Our heartfelt thanks go to performers and audiences alike for making this year’s program a wonderful celebration of the season.

Finally, we wish everyone in the broader tri-state community a 2018 blessed with peace, prosperity, and wonderful music.

Joy Wallens_Penford

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Originally published in The Commons issue #445 (Wednesday, February 7, 2018). This story appeared on page E3.

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