MASON — The fine arts departments from Bend Area schools will join on Sunday to present one of the county’s largest benefit concert events, as the annual Bend Area CARE Christmas Concert takes place.
Set to begin at 2 p.m. in the Wahama High School gymnasium, the event will feature the sights and sounds of the season by the Wahama concert band, choir, visual arts department, world music and dance classes, and piano students. Also set to perform are the New Haven Elementary School Choir, as well as the fifth and sixth grade band.
Admission is $3 per person or $5 per family. Admission proceeds will go to the CARE organization’s “Kids for Christmas” program. The $1,000 the concert normally raises provides food vouchers for the program’s qualifying families, according to CARE member Leonard Koenig.
Three musical selections will be presented by the fifth and sixth grade band, including “Jolly Old St. Nick,” “Jingle Bells,” and “Up on the Housetop.” The band is under the direction of Matt Bradley. Kimberly Bond will be directing the New Haven Elementary School Choir, also in three songs. They will include “Over the River,” “Do You Hear,” and “We Sing Gloria.” Among those singing in the choir will be Mary Brinker, Linzie Cundiff, and Alijah Hicks, who were recently chosen as members of the West Virginia All State Children’s Chorus.
The Wahama Concert Band will play “Carol of the Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” and a medley of Christmas tunes, according to Matt Bradley, director. Rachel Reynolds will direct the Wahama Choir in “A Holiday Road of Carols,” “In Winter,” “Amazing Grace” with descant by Sophia Russell and Adrianna Boswell,” “I Wonder as I Wander” with flutists Fabrienne Franke and Carolee Hoffman, and “O Holy Night.”
New to the concert this year will be a traditional West African drum and dance, “Gota,” by members of the Wahama dance and world music classes. The number will be directed by Bradley and Reynolds. Also featured will be selections by individual high school piano students, under the direction of Reynolds.
Between performances, a slideshow by students in the visual arts department at Wahama will be shown. These students are taught by Susan Parrish.
The finale of the showcase will be a combined ensemble of the elementary and high school choirs in “Joy to the World.”
There will be a 50/50 drawing at the concert, and poinsettias will be sold for $10 each to help offset the concert expenses.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.