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Artists perform to bless others

Posted: November 24, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 24, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Dan Franklin performs "What Child is This" at the Real Life Church Christmas Concert last year.

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With the Thanksgiving holiday now over, Santa Clarita Valley residents began preparing for the Christmas holiday. Several local churches started preparing months ago as they began planning and rehearsing for Christmas concerts.

Songs of Christmas

The Santa Clarita United Methodist Church is offering a Christmas concert, which is a 30 year tradition. The concert will feature the vocals of every choir at the church from the children’s choir, praise band and even features piano and violin solos. It is open to the community free of charge.

“It is a wonderful family event,” said Valerie McLean, communications coordinator of the church. “All kinds of music are featured, from loud rock ‘n’ roll to traditional Christmas songs. There is something for everybody.”

Disney and Church

Real Life Church in Valencia hosts an annual Christmas concert, but this year the church plans on also hosting a Jingle Jam event for elementary age children. Jingle Jam is a Christmas play geared to families. The people involved in the production will tell you it’s not a typical Christmas recital.

“The production is high energy with professional actors, dancers and singers,” said Mike Clear, director of weekend services. “If Disney did church, this is what it would be.”

The event will feature a Christmas-themed play followed by a festival including snow, a snowman-building contest, games, prizes and food. Jingle Jam features nearly 30 professional dancers, actors and singers from the music, television and movie industries.

“It is set up like any Disney or Nickelodeon show you see on TV,” said Brandon Gibson, Jingle Jam producer and director. “We wanted to reach out on a real level to children and people that may not normally go to church.”

Gibson was excited to be a part of the project. As a professional actor for TV and movies, he wanted to combine his talents with his passion for reaching out to children through church.

Serving through song

The third annual Christmas concert Real Life puts on for the community is a free Christmas musical performance. It began as a four night performance and has evolved into a two evening presentation for the community.

“This production is filled with people at the top of their game,” said professional singer Monique Donnelly.

Donnelly, whose vocals have been featured in major movies such as “The Lorax” and “Happy Feet” and has worked with recording stars Josh Groban and Michael Buble, said she simply wants a way to use the gift God has blessed her with to bless others.

“All the performers have such serving hearts,” Donnelly said. “They are humble professionals that want to give their best and want to be used to give a gift back to the community.”

Santa Clarita United Methodists Christmas Concert is Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the church on 26640 Bouquet Canyon Road.

Real Life Church’s Jingle Jam is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and the annual Christmas concert will be held Dec. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. at the  church on 23841 Newhall Ranch Road.


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