Concert-goers filled the sanctuary at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parrish as the traditional handbell choir prelude music began. This year, three handbell choirs — from Columbine United, Heritage United Methodist, and St. Frances Cabrini churches joined together to offer up this uniquely beautiful music. An audience estimated at more than 700 people enjoyed the evening’s concert of inspirational music.
Churches participating included Columbine United Church, Faith Community Church, Heritage United Methodist Church, St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Parish, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Each church choir performed two individual numbers ranging from contemporary Christian, traditional hymns, and gospel spirituals. Rich harmonies and toe-tapping beats offered enough variety to capture the audience.
In keeping with the long standing tradition, the five choirs numbering about 200 strong, and a 25-member orchestra of local muscians, joined together for a grand musical finale. Heritage United Methodist choir director Dione Titus led off with the upbeat and invigorating “Joy, Joy, Joy” with the brass section of the orchestra playing a starring role. Columbine United director Mitch Samu conducted his original composition of “Kyrie,” which is a prayer to God. Rounding out the evening was the traditional Thanksgiving hymn, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” conducted by Greg Marsh from The Church of Jesus Christ. The audience joined in to sing the third verse, while the final verse was a resounding finish to a wonderful musical event.
Other choir directors included: Eric Weinstein, Faith Community; Dan Wyatt, St. Frances Cabrini; and Meryt Dean, who directed the combined handbell choir.
Leaders from participating churches in attendance included: Teri Jones, Faith Community; Doug Slaughter, Heritage United Methodist; Sean McGrath, St. Frances Cabrini, and Bryan Thomas and Blake Willardsen, The Church of Jesus Christ.
The words of the invocation, offered by Reverend Dr. Doug Slaughter, set the tone for the evening. “The power of music brings us together as a community,” he said. Concert-goers and choir members echoed the same sentiment and commented that music truly is a universal language.