The annual Thanksgiving concert offered by the Combined Christian Choir will be held Sunday, Nov. 24, at 3 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Washington.
The CCC will be joined by the Combined Christian Children’s Choir. Children from different schools and congregations come together to sing several pieces on their own and several more with the adults.
The choirs are led by co-directors Katie Alexander and Paige Byrne Shortal. Shortal, founding director of the Combined Christian Choir, assists Alexander with the themes and organization of the concerts, while Alexander does the bulk of the directing.
“It’s a good working partnership,” explained Alexander. “These concerts are a huge undertaking in the middle of a busy time of year so it’s great to have two people who work together as well as we do.”
“And of course,” Shortal added, “we have a fabulous ensemble of instrumentalists. Lucy Tobben has been the accompanist from the beginning, and she leads a band that includes Micki and Leonard Marquart on keyboards and bass, from Our Lady of Lourdes; guitarist Don Kluba from St. Gertrude’s Parish; Terry Buddemeyer on percussion from St. Peter’s United Church of Christ; violinist Gina Gruhn Leeker from Trinity Presbyterian Church; and trumpet players Terry Lanwermeyer and John Borgmann from St. Francis Borgia and Immanuel Lutheran Church respectively.
“Our band is as ecumenical as the choir and they only get to play together when we have these concerts twice a year. They have a lot of fun together.”
This year’s concert theme is “The Road Home,” featuring songs that “remind us of home and of our true home in heaven,” explained co-director Paige Byrne Shortal.
Typically numbering about 80 singers, the Combined Christian Choir came together for the first time to sing at a Thanksgiving service in 1997. Since then it has offered two concerts every year — on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and again in the summer on a Sunday near Independence Day.
All concerts by the Combined Christian Choir are interpreted for the deaf by three signers: Torri Ryder, Karen Peters and Corinne Glaus.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1014 Madison Ave. in Washington, is fully accessible. There is no charge for admission. There is a reception after the concert.
A free-will offering will be accepted. This year’s offering will be divided among the food pantries of Washington and Union and the Harvest Table ministry.
There is no audition for the adult or children’s choir, and new members are always welcome.
Rehearsals are scheduled for Nov. 13, 14, 20 and 22, all beginning at 7 p.m. (6 p.m. for children).
For more information about the concert or joining the choir, contact Shortal at 314-583-1522 or Alexander at 314-324-3331.