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Church concert draws hundreds

Grace Baptist Church puts on three-night Christmas show

Posted: December 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 17, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Musician Ryan Knight performs during the "Let There Be Light" performance at Grace Baptist Church this past weekend. Courtesy photo from Stan Elrich.

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Thousands of parishioners were filled with the sound of Christmas Sunday as Grace Baptist Church capped its three-day Christmas festival of song.

The candlelight Christmas concerts series called “Let There Be Light” began Friday, continued Saturday and closed Sunday with a packed auditorium inside the church’s Worship Center on Copper Hill Drive.

“Part of my joy at Christmas is this music,” said parishioner James Lewis, who attended Sunday’s concert in part to hear his niece Olivia Lewis sing in the choir.

“This music kind of brings me back to the Christmas music of my childhood,” he said.

In the minutes before the concert got under way, as violins and cellos were heard tuning up, Pastor David Hegg talked to The Signal about the importance of Christmas music in the lives of Christians.

“Music allows us to express emotion in a way that almost nothing else does,” he said. “If you’re like me, whether you’re musical or not, you feel certain things like when you see a child or when you see a Christmas tree ... and then you hear a song that captures it — you remember that.”

“I bet you there are songs, that when you heard them on the radio, you can remember hearing them in high school, you remember where you were and how you felt.”

Sunday’s concert began with members of the Sanctuary Choir, directed by Peter Beers, who held candles as part of a Bethlehem procession. The choir sang “Do You Hear What I Hear?” featuring a solo by Robin Beers.

The Praise Orchestra, under the direction of Lisa Hernacki, played many lesser-known Christmas songs such as “Jesus, Born This Day” and “Winter Snow” against an backdrop of soft muted lighting.

The concert also featured the Children’s Choir and a reading of the Nativity by Hegg.

“I’m really glad they put this on,” said festival attendee Jillian Lovell, who was amazed at how the festival has grown since she saw it a few years ago.

“It’s the size of it, the vastness that is overwhelming,” she said. “Overwhelming in a good way.”
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