Artists in Action: Hymn Festival today at Jax First Presbyterian
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Dec 16, 2012 | 2451 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
What do you do for special Christmas music if your church doesn’t have a choir? For the second year, Susie F. Dempsey has come up with a plan. The church organist has organized A Hymn Festival of Christmas hymns and carols, led by the Christmas Camerata, a chamber vocal ensemble specially selected for this event.

The service will be held at 3 p.m. today at the First Presbyterian Church on Clinton Street East in Jacksonville. The public is invited. The service is organized with scripture in telling the story of the birth of Christ from the Annunciation through Epiphany.

The Camerata will be accompanied by the pipe organ as well as instrumentalists Hannah Underhill (glockenspiel, a set of bells), Daniel Dempsey (clarinet) and Sue Ann Reinisch (Irish harp).

The Camerata includes Heidi and David Dempsey, Carolyn and Grant Paris, Sue Ann Reinisch, Cecelia Talley, Kenneth Calvert, Rae Cauthen, Laura Cobbs, Landon and Rodney Shirey, Brandon Pisacrita and Wayne Dempsey.

CD by Alice Duckett released

Alice Duckett, who comes from a family of storytellers, shares childhood memories that we can all relate to on her CD “Slices of Life.” The huge hill she climbed on a bicycle ride, the annual ritual of cutting the Christmas tree and the sound of her father’s stern voice when she and her sister got into mischief — are all family stories worth retelling.

According to Duckett, “Slices of Life” is available now at a time when families are getting together during the holidays to reminisce. She hopes the CD, which costs $10, will encourage listeners to remember special childhood events and write or record them for future generations.

Duckett has published two children’s books and speaks to community groups about researching family history. Her CD serves as an accompaniment to her workbook, “Digging from Attic to Basement.”

She can be reached at aliceduckett@cableone.net or 256-237-7123.

‘A Christmas Carol’ features Anniston native

The acting, the carolers, the set and the special effects of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” made the Alabama Shakespeare Festival play last weekend an evening of extraordinary live theater, in my opinion.

Anniston native Rodney Clark portrays Ebenezer Scrooge. Many biographers have recorded that Dickens was not only an accomplished actor but an amateur magician, according to artistic director Geoffrey Sherman. These touches of enchantment make “Carol,” which was adapted from the Dickens’ play by Sherman, unique.

The play continues through Dec. 23. To contact the box office, call 1-800-841-4273 or visit www.ASF.net.

Public tour of St. Michael and All Angels

“St. Michael’s is central to the story of our city,” said Megan Brightwell, a member of Anniston’s Historic Preservation Commission, “and the church is full of stories of her own.”

There will be a free public tour of the church at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, led by docent Caroline Haberer. It should be interesting for all who are curious as to how this historic church was founded and why it is considered an architectural gem.

A bring-your-own-bag luncheon and hot chocolate reception follow the tour.

The reception is hosted by the St. Michael’s Women’s Group and Model City Preservation Coalition. If planning to come, please call Brightwell at 256-405-9262.
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