“Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in our heart,” sang the Good Shepherd Presbyterian choir last Sunday. Jimmy and Carol Owens, composers of this song, got it right. Celebrating Christmas should come from deep inside. The arts help give our rejoicing a deeper meaning. Several events this week serve this purpose. Enjoy them!
Anniston High School holiday concert
A medley of traditional and contemporary melodies keep the sounds and stories of Christmas alive as the Anniston High School band and choir present a concert Tuesday at 6 p.m. It is a free event at Anniston Performing Arts Center. The band is directed by Ruben Mitchell and the choir by Carrie Watson.
Jazzy holiday revue by Kimberlite
Kimberlite Productions presents “A Jazzy Joy to the World” on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Church of St. Michael and all Angels in Anniston. The musical revue is accompanied by Andy Nevala, director of jazz studies at Jacksonville State University, and will feature Steve Campbell (known for his Roy Orbison acts), Rickey Powell (from “Ain’t Misbehavin’”) and newcomer Nate Burch.
The revue is directed and choreographed by Kimberley Dobbs. The group of local singers include Eranika Bonds, Juli Christensen, Glenn Davenport, Alli Hartley and Scott Whitney.
Also in the family-friendly production are youth performers Coleman Brightwell, Mitch Conroy, Addie Tucker, Bryant Whitney and Ramsey Whitney.
Come early to the fellowship hall and enjoy a dessert bar with hot apple cider, hot chocolate or coffee. The goodies will also be available at intermission. Proceeds from concessions will be donated to St. Michael’s in support of the Community Garden.
Tickets are $20 for adults, or $10 for kids 12 and under. For more information, call 256-525-6544.
Quilt exhibit continues in Anniston
One of these could be the largest gift under the tree. Two of the quilts created by Margaret McNaron currently on display at Catalyst, 1224 Noble St. in Anniston, are for sale. The display of five pieces will be up through December.
These decorative and warm bed covers are quintessentially American. Known as a folk art, they are now regarded as a fine art in some studios.
McNaron considers quilting a tradition. To her, it is a connecting point with women who gathered in the past to create fiber art by hand. Then, it was a necessity and a time for fellowship. “They were preserving American culture,” McNaron said.
McNaron is a member of Lick Skillet Quilt Guild, which meets the second Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Oxford Civic Center. She encourages anyone interested in joining the guild and/or to view the quilts at Catalyst to call her at 256-310-9018.
Traveling home for Saturday’s Knox concert
Fans of Jason Isbell, the Knox Concert Series artist on stage Saturday evening, are coming from far and wide for his performance at 7:30 p.m. at the Anniston Performing Arts Center. Isbell, a singer, songwriter and guitarist, is a favorite of two native Annistonians. Both are coming home for Christmas in time for his concert.
Phillips Thomas Hornbuckle and Jenny Stedham both say they are proud to claim Isbell as an Alabamian. (He is from Green Hill in Lauderdale County, in northern Alabama)
Hornbuckle is coming from Aberdeen, Md. She has listened to Isbell for several years. “His lyrics focus on topics not often being addressed by other artists today,” she said. “For me, his music is both challenging and soothing. I think that anyone listening to him online will definitely find a song that they’d want to hear again.”
Stedham has seen Isbell perform live in Birmingham at the Alabama Theatre and at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, Colo., where she lives. “He has an incredible voice, and is easily one of the best songwriters we have today,” she said. Isbell’s songs are about his own life, his struggles and his family, she added.
Tickets to Saturday’s show are sold out. The next performance on the Knox Concert Series will be Jan. 20, featuring the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, one of Sweden’s oldest orchestras.
Christmas program at Parker Memorial
After hearing what’s on the program for Parker Memorial Baptist Church’s Christmas event Dec. 17 at 6 p.m, I think the worship service can be described as a carol of hope in the night.
The choir, orchestra and narration will deliver the theme “Love’s Pure Light” according to Don Gober, minister of music at the Anniston church.
“I love the storyline; it’s simple and beautiful,” Gober said. “The songs are easy to listen to, both traditional and new. I think people will enjoy hearing them.”
The narrators will be Gina Butler and son Mark Butler. The soloists are Todd Ford, Cynthia Cater and David Lindsey.