‘Community Christmas in the Park’ is first gig for Community Band

Published 11:26 pm Thursday, December 4, 2008

The annual “Community Christmas in the Park” is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m., Monday at Jack Read Park.

For the first time since its conception, the Pearl River County Community Band will play for the public as part of the line-up for the outdoor, Christmas-themed concert.

“We’ll surprise people,” said band director, Johnny R. Baker.

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He is looking forward to the concert, and is amazed at what his group has been able to pull off after only eight short rehearsals. He said the band is prepared to provide serious entertainment for the community, and it now will be available to play at any of Pearl River County’s special events.

The band has a great set prepared for the Christmas concert, with a mix of classic tunes and old favorites: “Three Carols for Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” “Winter Wonderland” and “Little Drummer Boy.” The band is scheduled to play second in the line-up.

The event will start with a welcome by Mayor Greg Mitchell and a prayer and song by Councilman Donald Parker. Other entertainment will include: Caroline, Ross and Justin Whitfield, keyboard; First United Methodist Church, praise band; New Palestine Baptist Church, under the direction of Joy Carter, chimes; Pine Grove Baptist Church, under the direction of Mary Beth Hopkins, children’s choir; Weems Chapel Baptist Church with Pastor Gloria McKinney, inspirational dancers; Nicholson Elementary SChool, under the direction of Rachel Rutherford, choir; East Jerusalem Church, under the direction of Demetria Roberts, mixed age choir and Resurrection Life, led by Brother Todd, Adult Choir.

For the finale, Linda Hancock of First United Methodist Church, will lead Community Christmas Caroling. Lyrics will be provided for six carols: “Away in a Manger,” “Up on the House Top,” “Joy to the World,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Silent Night” and “We Wish you a Merry Christmas.” Residents are asked to come prepared to sing.

“Community Christmas in the Park” is a free, outdoor concert, open to the public. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear the inaugural performance of the Community Band, and to celebrate the Christmas season with friends and neighbors of the community.