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St. Paul Singers to provide beautiful music

Ideally, the Christmas season should be a time of togetherness and a period during which everyone is especially charitable.

So it’s heartening to learn two Negaunee parishes have banded together to keep a holiday tradition alive, one that raises funds for two most worthy causes: St. Vincent de Paul and Room at the Inn.

Sunday, Negaunee’s St. Paul Catholic Church choir and Immanuel Lutheran Church choir will combine to carry on a tradition started 30 years ago by an ecumenical choir known as the St. Paul Singers.

Marcia Hicks, music director at St. Paul and co-coordinator of the event, told Journal Staff Writer Lisa Bowers: “St. Paul’s is no stranger to this type of event thanks to the efforts of (former St. Paul Music Director) Bill Barrette. He shared direction with our beloved Mary Trolla (longtime choral director) and featured Evelyn Jean Bertucci at the piano and Tony Beacco in the later years. I’ve since taken over the position at St. Paul (after Barrette retired) and am looking for creative ways to keep an event going without taxing our singers too much.”

Hicks said a conversation with Connie Lindblom, director of the Immanuel Lutheran Choir, inspired a collaborative effort to create “Journey to Bethlehem,” which will be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday.

“(We had) the idea that perhaps if each of our choirs perform what we are working on for the Advent/Christmas season and combine it with some other groups, soloists and a combined finale — we would have enough to present a meaningful Christmas concert.”

A brass group organized by Gerry Anderson will play before and during the concert, as well as join in one of the finale selections; a bell choir with ringers from Houghton/Hancock’s Spirit of Superior and Bells on the Bay of L’Anse/Baraga will also participate.

Among others performing will be soloists Jeff Jennings, Linda Stanaway and Rachel Niskanen, and cellist Cathy Moilanen. A small string ensemble and a vocal chorus will be part of the event as well.

Hicks said the concert is free of charge and represents a “wonderful opportunity to enter into the Christmas season in a time-honored, spiritual way.”

“However,” Hicks said, “please note that perhaps the most important detail is the offering baskets that will be at the exits of the church when the event is over. We hope that people will give generously (as) all proceeds will be given to charity. Nobody is paid for this endeavor.”

Hicks said the proceeds will be divided equally between the local St. Vincent de Paul Society and to Room at the Inn.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church is located at 202 W. Cast St. in Negaunee.