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Music brings holiday cheer to Maris Grove

Carols, choruses fill the air this season

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November 22nd, 2011

Nothing lifts the spirits and stirs the emotions like holiday music. Soon at Maris Grove, Erickson Living s community in Glen Mills, Pa., the halls will echo with the sounds of melodies, sacred and secular, traditional and eclectic, as the community s choral groups herald the season with holiday concerts for residents and guests of all faiths.

Maris Grove chorus

Margaret Cunningham launched and directs the 60-member Maris Grove chorus, which is expected to draw standing-room-only audiences to its two holiday performances in the community s chapel. Its fifth annual holiday concert will feature favorites like Little Drummer Boy and First Hanukkah Night, plus a special arrangement combining Winter Wonderland and Silver Bells. The concert wouldn t be complete without a joyous sing-along of traditional carols and the wistful closing number, Let There Be Peace.

Leap of faith

The holiday concert spotlight will also shine on Maris Grove s a cappellagroup, Leap of Faith, which sings four-part close harmony with no piano accompaniment. Director Linda Husband says the group is so good that some of the chords they sing give her goose bumps. Leap of Faith will also present a separate holiday program in Renaissance Gardens, Maris Grove s extended care neighborhood. The group rehearses in late afternoon in the Brinton Clubhouse music room so people going to dinner early enjoy lilting mini-concerts, says Jean Schopps. She and her husband, Tom, belong to the chorus and Leap of Faith. He also sings in the men s chorus. We just enjoy singing, says Tom. It s more for our pleasure than for the audience, adds Jean, but seeing them enjoy a performance makes us do better. Music plays year-round in the Schopps apartment home. Holiday music is in the air everywhere, and I get caught up in the holiday spirit, Jean adds.

Fellowship choir and men s chorus

On December 24, the fellowship choir will present its annual Christmas Cantata, in the campus chapel. The program conveys the joy, hope, and peace of the season through narration and sacred song. Maris Grove community member Toni Kaufman founded and directs the choir; Carole Burdick provides piano accompaniment. The Cantata also features the living tableau, with Maris Grove residents recreating the Bethlehem stable scene. Toni also started and directs the men s chorus, which will present two pre-dinner performances of religious and secular songs, one in each clubhouse living room. Maris Grove s in-house TV station videotapes the holiday concerts so residents who can t attend or who want to prolong the holiday spirit can watch them.

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