To celebrate the 73rd anniversary of D-Day, attend the observance and ceremony at the Berman Museum on Tuesday at 10 a.m. The purpose of the event is to remember and honor the sacrifice made for freedom around the world, according to notices sent out from the museum.

The expression “D-Day” defined the dates set for Allied landings on enemy-held coasts during World War II. The D-Day celebrated on Tuesday focuses on June 6, 1944, when the Allies invaded Normandy. World War II veterans of our community will be recognized at the ceremony. There will also be music, refreshments and a special exhibit, “Snapshots of D-Day.”

Among the veterans planning to attend will be those from the Col. Robert L. Howard State Veterans Home in Pell City. Col. Howard, born in Opelika in 1939, was one of the Vietnam War’s most highly decorated servicemen and a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

World War II veterans can receive reserved seating; all others are first come, first served. Any World War II veteran who would like to reserve a place of honor is asked to call 256-237-6261.

This is the fourth year the museum has hosted a D-Day ceremony.  

Admission is free. The public is invited.   

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir members in concert

Making a joyful noise at the Parker Memorial Baptist Church in DeArmanville may reach its strongest crescendo on June 11 at 6 p.m. The church choir and friends will sing with three guest soloists from New York’s Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The selections will include gospel songs that the soloists have recorded with the 300-member choir in the non-denominational church.

The public is invited. The church is at 4229 U.S. Highway 78 E. There is no admission charge, but a donation offering will be appreciated.

Greg Stone, the church’s worship leader, knows firsthand the impact the Brooklyn singers have on an audience. He has seen these soloists, who represent the core group of the BTC, perform, and he has attended services in the Brooklyn church several times since 1995. This marks the third time he has presented the singers at churches he has served in McComb, Miss., Tuscaloosa and now Anniston.

“This choir can claim a sound of its own,” Stone said. “ It’s an eclectic sound because it crosses all boundaries of standard composition.”  

The choir itself is unique, he said, an unlikely combination of individuals. Choir members are doctors, nurses and everyday people. “They sing from the heart because they believe in this ministry and what it has done for them,” Stone said. “The choir brings cultures together.”

The soloists coming to the church next week reflect this exhilaration, according to Stone. The soloists are JoAnn Brown, Cynthia Greene and Karen Rampersad.

“We will be hearing former and current pieces from the BTC repertoire,” Stone said. “It will be somewhere in between black and Southern gospel. The ballads are especially beautiful.”

Knowing the Brooklyn Tabernacle church history intensifies the message. Thirty-five years ago, the congregation of 20 people struggled to keep the church alive, according to the book “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Fresh Power and Fresh Faith” by Jim Cymbala with Dean Merrill. (Cymbala has been the pastor of BT for more 35 years.) Then the people began to pray, the authors continued. Their spirits and lives began to change, and the church began to take on new dimensions. Now, close to 10,000 people fill the seats each Sunday.

To witness an example of spiritual vitality through voices, be sure to fill a seat at the DeArmanville church Sunday.

‘Phantom of the Opera’ at OPAC

The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “The Phantom of the Opera” will be presented two weekends, starting Friday through June 18, by the Jacksonville State University Opera Theatre. It will be at the Oxford Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $15 to $25. Tickets may be purchased be visiting www.OPACphantom.com.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at herveyfolsom@yahoo.com.