The Combined Christian Choir of Washington will meet next Tuesday, June 15, for the first of four rehearsals for its summer sing-along concert of American and sacred music. 

The concert, "Freedom's Holy Light," will be held Sunday, June 27, at 7 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Washington.

The Combined Christian Choir is made up of singers from  Washington area churches including Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, and several nondenominational churches.

The choir is directed by Paige Byrne Shortal and accompanied by Lucy Tobben, along with an ensemble of musicians: Micki Marquart, second keyboard; Terry Lanwermeyer, trumpet; Leonard Marquart, electric bass; Don Kluba, guitar; and Terry Buddemeyer, percussion. The music includes sing-along patriotic pieces and old-time religion favorites, as well as contemporary gospel.

"A tradition of the summer concert is remembering the fallen with ‘Taps,' " said Shortal. "This year we will also sing a lovely piece titled ‘Song for the Unsung Hero' as well as a choral arrangement of ‘God Bless the U.S.A.' "

It's not all serious though. Shortal explained, "This is the 75th anniversary of the death of American humorist Will Rogers. This summer's concert-goers will be entertained with this uniquely American voice of wit, wisdom and good old common sense."

Children are very welcome to attend the concert.

"Children will be invited to come forward to help with another annual tradition - the virtual fireworks, involving bubble wrap and other sound effects," Shortal said.

This is the 13th summer concert by the Combined Christian Choir. The choir typically numbers between 80 and 100 singers from local churches and their concerts have been well-attended. They have produced two CDs:  "Down by the Riverside" and "One Nation, Under God." CDs and tapes will be available at the concert.

There is no charge for admission. A free-will offering will be accepted to help support the choir's future concerts and other ecumenical work in the area. 

A lemonade and cookies reception will follow the concert. Our Lady of Lourdes is fully accessible.

The choir always welcomes new members.

For more information on the concert or to join the choir, people may contact Paige Byrne Shortal at 314-583-1522 or