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Classic Chorale to perform annual Christmas concert

The 50-voice Classic Chorale will perform the annual Christmas Concert "A Ceremony of Carols" Friday through Sunday. (Submitted photo)

The Park Rapids Classic Chorale will present its annual Christmas Concert "A Ceremony of Carols" at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11 and at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 12-13 at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids.

The 50-voice chorale will be singing Benjamin Britten's A Ceremony of Carols as well as seasonal favorites to usher in the Christmas season. The long-time Classic Chorale director Erich Knapp accepted a minister of music position at Grace Lutheran Church in Wenatchee, Washington and moved from the area in October. Filling in to direct the Classic Chorale are three area musicians and long-time Chorale members, Anita Hanneman, Gary Stennes and Paul Dove.

When asked to be part of the triumvirate charged to take the chorale forward to the December concert, Gary Stennes said, "A venue in which the young and young in heart can get together to perform musical masterworks is a gift to treasure and it's an honor to be part of it."

A committee has been appointed to search for a director who will be able to start in the fall of the 2010-11 concert season. In the meantime, the three interim directors will keep the organization moving forward.

Members of the Classic Chorale come from a radius of 50 miles of Park Rapids to sing in this ensemble of auditioned voices.

The concerts are free; an offering will be taken to help defray costs. The Park Rapids Classic Chorale is a nonprofit organization and all donations to it are tax deductible on federal taxes.

As in the past, a reception follows each concert in the St. Johns Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall.